I couldn’t very well create a blog about animals in the province of Québec without writing a post about the province’s official bird. The snowy owl, bird of Harry Potter fame, is famous for its white feathers that help keep it camouflaged in the snowy regions it calls home. Some males may be purely white, but other males and all females will have a few dark feathers scattered in among the white ones. Beneath these beautiful outer layers, snowy owls have a thick layer of down to help keep them warm in the frigid winter months (a kind of insulation those working for a local tow truck company might look into during the coldest winter months).
These birds also have feathers on their feet to keep them warm. Snowy owls make their nests in the Arctic tundra of North America and Eurasia, and their mating season lasts from May to June, the eggs hatching about five weeks after they are laid. A female will lay a clutch that usually contains between 3 and 11 eggs. In order to attract a female – a very important undertaking, considering he’ll most likely stay with her all his life – a male will often hold a lemming or some other prey in his mouth. Very romantic. Interestingly, snowy owls make their nests on the ground, and these nests are defended by both parents, who sometimes use distraction as a means of drawing predators away from their nests.