Snowy Owls and Lemmings

So far this breeding season, ORI researchers report fairly strong Snowy Owl nesting numbers from our study area near Utqiagvik, Alaska. Last year, for example, no nests were reported. What creates these boom and bust conditions? It all comes back to the lemmings. When lemmings do well, Snowy Owls do well. When lemming numbers are down, Snowy Owls may lay just a couple eggs or may not nest at all. The photo above by Dan Cox shows a Snowy nest during a strong lemming year.

The following article, Nothing makes Snowy Owl chicks feel at home like a nest wreathed in dead lemmings, by Ethan Shaw talks more about this dependent relationship.

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We are so grateful to the photographers who capture owls, and our work, in the most amazing ways. They generously share their work with us, and you. Check out the works of some of the photographers whose work is featured on our site! They are incredible talented artists who are committed to wildlife conservation.

Thank you to:

Kurt Lindsay:

Daniel J Cox:

Radd Icenoggle:

Melissa Groo:

Ly Dang:

Tom Murphy:

Deborah Hanson



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