Snowy owls are the birds of prey hardy enough to live in the arctic year round. They rely heavily on one major source of food – lemmings. And when the lemmings are plentiful, the male hunts whenever the weather allows. They store body fats for when lemmings are scarce and can 40 days between meals. If the lemming population plummets, snowys may not even attempt to raise young. But if the lemmings are plentiful as they are this year, the owls may raise large broods. When the weather holds fair the male owl hunts around the clock.
He builds a stockpile of prey as a reserve for times when fog or rain makes hunting much more difficult. And each day, his voracious offspring devour couple of lemmings a piece. They must build their strength quickly. Mortality for owlets can run as high as 50%. Those that do survive must hunt for themselves in only few months. Like their parents, they will soon take to the air, soaring over the Tundra with silent deadly ease.