Avian Migration

pp 359-366

Snowy Owl Movements: Variation on the Migration Theme

  • Mark FullerAffiliated withUS Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
  • , Denver HoltAffiliated withOwl Research Institute
  • , Linda SchueckAffiliated withBoise State University - Raptor Research Center

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Snowy owls (Nyctea scandiaca) have a Holarctic distribution. Our recent understanding of the movements of these birds was summarized by Holt et al. (1999): “Movements not predictable, related in way not fully understood to abundance of prey species; thought to vary considerably from region to region ... and intensity of movements fluctuates annually; ... populations periodically irruptive, ... when lemming numbers crash. Winters irregularly S [south] tochwr(133)” The spatial and temporal relationships among breeding, migration route, and wintering areas of snowy owls are essentially unknown.