The snowy owl is a large owl known for its white coloration. Younger owls and adult females have black markings on their feathers, while older adult males are nearly entirely white. Unlike their relatives in the genus Bubo (including the eagle owl and great horned owl), snowy owls do not have prominent “ear tufts” that give them a horned appearance. While they do have small ear tufts, they are rarely visible, and their heads usually appear completely round.
Snowy owls are quite large for owls, and are the largest predatory bird in their frigid environment. They can be over two feet in length, with a wingspan of up to six feet in larger females. They can weigh up to five pounds and in some rare cases up to six and a half pounds.
Snowy owls have a number of adaptations that help them in the cold climate, including feet and toes that are almost completely covered in feathers, save for their talons.