Nesting on the tundra


The Arctic tundra is an expansive and treeless landscape. As such, Snowy Owls have no choice but to make their nests on the ground, often digging a bowl out of ice and snow.

Females situate their nests on top of mounds, called high-centered polygons. The mounds can vary in height – from about 8 – 36 inches high – but the nest is usually located on one of the highest mounds in the immediate area. The mound formations are the result of the repeated freeze and thaw of the Arctic tundra and can take centuries to form. The result is a unique landscape of mounds and valleys across the Arctic coast.