Timeline of the 2022 Snowy Owl Breeding Season

Notes and observations from ORI's Snowy Owl field crew: Denver, Chloe, Solai, and ORI volunteers


This Snowy Owl nest is located near Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, and is part of ORI's long-term study on Snowy Owl and Brown Lemming Breeding Ecology.


Learn more, ask questions about Snowy Owls, and watch the nest live online 24/7:


 

June

June 16, 2022

Early in the morning we first saw the male and female Snowy Owls roosting near a potential nest site. A male Snowy Owl was observed to fly nearby and hoot. The female did nothing. Later that morning, the owls were seen roosting in the same area on the tundra. That evening, as Denver investigated the potential nest site, he found a fresh scrape on the mound. The female was nearby but was not interested in Denver. The female was seen flying away and Denver observed her either carrying prey or having a brood patch. As Denver left the site to a distanced observation area, the female was sitting on the tundra. Denver wasn't sure if the female laid eggs and abandoned or possibly never laid at all. No lemmings were seen.


VIDEO: The 2022 Snowy Owl Breeding Season Begins!


June 18, 2022

Denver observed the female on the mound. It's likely she laid her first egg sometime between the 17th and 18th of June.


Usually, by this time (mid-June) Snowy Owls are hatching, this nest is a month behind schedule. This is the latest nesting attempt we have ever seen.


June 17/18- June 29

Sometime between June 17th/18th and June 29, the female Snowy Owl laid 6 eggs. Laying every other day. We continued to monitor, measuring eggs, prey, and observing behavior.

An all-white male Snowy Owl perches upright on the ground looking straight at the camera.
The male Snowy Owl keeping a close eye on researchers as they approach the nest. Photo by Jennifer Sperry.

July

July 5, 2022

ORI BLOG POST: Update from Alaska: "It's a tough year on the tundra"