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- (flight) fly in a flock; "flighting wild geese"
- Shoot (wildfowl) in flight
- (in soccer, cricket, etc.) Deliver (a ball) with well-judged trajectory and pace
- (flight) an instance of traveling by air; "flying was still an exciting adventure for him"
- A continent in the northern hemisphere, separated from Africa on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and from Asia on the east roughly by the Bosporus, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Ural Mountains. Europe contains approximately 10 percent of the world's population. It consists of the western part of the landmass of which Asia forms the eastern (and greater) part and includes the British Isles, Iceland, and most of the Mediterranean islands. Its recent history has been dominated by the decline of European states from their former colonial and economic preeminence, the emergence of the European Union among the wealthy democracies of western Europe, and the collapse of the Soviet Union with consequent changes of power in central and eastern Europe
- the 2nd smallest continent (actually a vast peninsula of Eurasia); the British use `Europe' to refer to all of the continent except the British Isles
- European Union: an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members; "he tried to take Britain into the Europen Union"
- the nations of the European continent collectively; "the Marshall Plan helped Europe recover from World War II"
- the short weak cry of a young bird
- Bird vocalization includes both bird calls and bird songs. In non-technical use, bird songs are the bird sounds that are melodious to the human ear. In ornithology and birding, (relatively complex) songs are distinguished by function from (relatively simple) calls.
- A shrill squeaky cry made by a bird, typically a young one
- A sound resembling such a cry
- peep: make high-pitched sounds; "the birds were chirping in the bushes"
The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organise plants and animals. The name "scandiacas" is a Latinised word referring to Scandinavia, as the Owl was first observed in the northern parts of Europe. Some other names for the Snowy Owl are Snow Owl, Arctic Owl, Great White Owl, Ghost Owl, Ermine Owl, Tundra Ghost, Ookpik, Scandinavian Nightbird, White Terror of the North, and Highland Tundra Owl. It is the official bird of Quebec.
Description: The Snowy Owl is a large, diurnal white Owl that has a rounded head, yellow eyes and black bill. The feet are heavily feathered. A distinctive white Owl, their overall plumage is variably barred or speckled with thin, black, horizontal bars or spots. Females and juveniles are more heavily marked than males - adult males may be almost pure white, although they have up to three tail bands. Adult females are distinctly barred throughout, and have from four to six tail bands. Immatures are very heavily barred throughout, and dark spotting may codominate or dominate the overall plumage. Intensity of dark spotting varies with the sex of the immatures, females being the darkest. Juveniles are uniformly brown with scattered white tips of down.
Size: Length 51-68.5 cm (20-27") average female 66cm (26" inches), male 59cm (23")
Wingspan 137-164cm (54-65")
Weight 1134-2000g (40-70oz) average female 1707g (60oz), male 1612g (57oz)
Habits: Snowy Owls are active during the daytime, from dawn to dusk. They have a direct, strong, and steady flight with deliberate, powerful downstrokes and quick upstrokes. They make short flights, close to the ground, from perch to perch, and usually perches on the ground or a low post. During hot weather, they can thermoregulate by panting and spreading their wings. Snowy Owls are very aggressive when defending their nest.
Voice: The Snowy Owl is virtually silent during nonbreeding seasons. The typical call of the male is a loud, harsh, grating bark, while the female has a similar higher pitched call. During the breeding season males have a loud, booming "hoo, hoo" given as a territorial advertisement or mating call. Females rarely hoot. Its attack call is a guttural "krufff-guh-guh-guk". When excited it may emit a loud "hooo-uh, hooo-uh, hooo-uh, wuh-wuh-wuh". Other sounds are dog-like barks, rattling cackles, shrieks, hissing, and bill-snapping.
Nestlings "cheep" up to 2 weeks of age, then hiss and squeal.
Hunting & Food: Most hunting is done in the "sit and wait" style. These Owls are highly diurnal, although they may hunt at night as well. Prey are captured on the ground, in the air, or snatched off the surface of water bodies. When taking snowshoe hares, a Snowy Owl will sink its talons into the back and backflap until the hare is exhausted. The Owl will then break its neck with its beak. Snowy Owls have been known to raid traplines for trapped animals and bait, and will learn to follow traplines regularly. They also snatch fish with their talons. Small prey up to small hares are swallowed whole, while larger prey are carried away and torn into large chunks. Small young are fed boneless and furless pieces. Large prey are carried of in the Owl's talons, with prey like lemmings being carried in the beak.
Snowy Owls are mainly dependent on lemmings and voles throughout most of their Arctic and wintering range. When these prey are scarce they are an opportunistic feeder and will take a wide range of small mammals and birds. Some mammal prey include mice, hares, muskrats, marmots, squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs, rats, moles, and entrapped furbearers. Birds include ptarmigan, ducks, geese, shorebirds, Ring-necked Pheasants, grouse, American coots, grebes, gulls, songbirds, and Short-eared Owls. Snowy Owls will also take fish and carrion.
Some nesting Owls switch from lemmings and voles to young ptarmigan when they become available. Snowy Owls do not hunt near their nests, so other birds, such as Snow Geese, often nest nearby to take advantage of the Owls driving off predators such as foxes.
Snowy Owls produce large, rough-looking cylindrical pellets with numerous bones, feathers, and fur showing. They are usually expelled at traditional roosting sites and large numbers of pellets can be found in one spot. When large prey are eaten in small pieces with little roughage, pellets will not be produced.
Breeding: Courtship behaviour can begin in midwinter through to March and April, well away from breeding areas. Males will fly in undulating, moth-like flight when females are visible. On the ground males will bow, fluff feathers, and strut around with wings spread and dragging on the ground. Males kill and display prey in caches to impress females, often feeding the female. The Snowy Owl nests almost exclusively on the ground, where the female makes a shallow scr
Cheep... cheep.... (CHEEEEAAPPP!!)
Think li'l 'cheep cheep' needs to lay off the Almond Roca, as he's turning into quite the little 'porker'!
This little fella is a Hallmark collectible, and while I MIGHT be pushing the season just a tad, I thought he'd look oh-so-cute filled with jelly beans for Easter time...
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