Snowy Owl nest footage
This video footage was shot by Ly Dang at a Snowy Owl nest near Utqiagvik, Alaska last week. Snowy Owls flush from the nest very easily and are notoriously difficult to photograph. Footage like this was obtained through an Owl Research Institute blind on the tundra.
Snowy Owls do not hide their nests. Perhaps because it is difficult to find a hiding place in the wide-open space of the tundra. Snowy Owl pairs search for a nest site atop one of the highest of the small mounds found on the tundra. These mounds can be from about 8 inches to 3 feet high. Most are found within larger formations called tundra polygons. Tundra polygons form as the ground repeatedly melts and refreezes. This causes it to expand and contract, making the surface buckle and form bumps and cracks.
Scientists think Snowy Owls nest on high spots for several reasons. First, the mounds will be the first places to lose the winter snowpack, and won’t be wet and marshy like most of the tundra in the spring. The wind atop the mounds helps provide the nesting owls with relief from the many mosquitoes and other biting insects. Also, if the owls can’t hide, they must be ready to protect their nestlings. Perched atop a mound, Snowy Owls have a good view of approaching danger
See more Ly Dang Snowy Owl photos, as well as other wildlife, at his website: