My French name comes from the Swedish word Harfaong (eater of hares). In North America, I’m a star of the Great White North. In that region I feast mainly on lemmings.
I am well adapted to the cold climate where I live. I have very dense down and my beak and talons are covered with feathers. My white feathers are more or less striped with brown markings depending on my sex. The multiple dark markings on my body if I am a female provide camouflage when I nest on the ground.
In years where lemmings are plentiful, I may lay up to 14 eggs. Males must hunt almost 24 hours a day to feed the young. The days are long in the tundra. Luckily I am a diurnal owl. If lemmings become scarce, I won’t lay any eggs and I’ll have to migrate. At that time you may see me in many regions of Québec.
Length M : 53,1 - 70,7 cm F : 63 - 76,7 cm Weight M : 1612,9 g F : 1706,7 g
Wing span M : 157,7 cm F : 164,4 cm
Record of more than 10 years in the wild and 28 years in captivity
Lemmings, mice, gophers, ducks, ptarmigan, trap captured foxes
1 brood per year; 3 to 14 eggs; 30 to 37 days of incubation; couple will stay together for 1 season