Are Snowy Owls Mammals or Birds?

Snowy owls are birds. They are not included in the category of mammals. They are members of the avian class and have features like feathers, beaks, and the ability to fly that are typical of birds. Because of their distinctive white plumage, snowy owls can blend in with their snowy Arctic habitats.

On the other hand, they are not mammals because mammals have hair. Their females have mammary glands that the young use to ingest milk. Moreover, there are a lot of other unique features of mammals that are not found in snowy owls.

Snowy owls have characteristics and features of birds. These are fascinating members of the animal kingdom. They have feathers, talons, hearing (binaural), vision (binocular), wide and large heads, and an upright posture. All these features are linked to birds and birds only. These snow owls spend their time in frigid tundras and treeless areas.

We know a lot of questions are popping up in your minds. For example, do snowy owls lay eggs? Do they give birth to their children? That’s why we have decided to answer all your curious questions that are making you anxious. Let’s discuss the details in the sections below.

Is a Snowy Owl a Mammal or a Bird?

snowy owl

We know very well that snowy owls are birds. There are a lot of myths associated with owls and many of them are totally wrong. Similarly, many people believe that snowy owls are mammals, just like bats. But there is a big “NO” answer to this myth. The reality is something else.

According to the Peregrine Hunt organization, an important fact has come out. We are stating that here:

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“Snowy owls are not mammals; they eat other mammals. They hunt them and enjoy their meat.” ~ Source

According to the Animal Fun Facts website authors, snowy owls love birds. They look adorable. Their super distinctive nature and lifestyle even get the attention of non-birders. These birds have the world record for living in extreme temperatures of -56 degrees Celsius. No other bird can survive in this extreme temperature. ~ Source

Does A Snowy Lay Eggs?

Snowy Owl Eggs
Snowy Owl Eggs | Source:

Yes, snowy owls lay eggs. In fact, all birds lay eggs. The female snowy owl lays a clutch of three to eleven eggs in a shallow nest. Their nests are mostly on the ground or in open areas high above the ground.

According to the study of Animal Fun Facts, both parents take turns incubating the eggs. They do this to ensure their warmth and protection. The eggs hatch after a period of about 32 days (around a month). These hatched eggs give rise to adorable and fluffy owlets that rely on their parents for food and guidance.

One of the most interesting facts about snowy owls is their love for their partners. When they choose their partners, they don’t leave each other for the rest of their lives. Both parents take care of their owlets. One stays near them to protect them and the other searches for food for them.

After a month or two, their kids are capable of leaving their places. But still, they are not capable of hunting for themselves. So, the parent snowy owls help them learn hunting activities and skills along their journey. After a month, the female owls are ready to lay eggs again after growing the previous babies.

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They decide their reproduction cycle according to the weather and food availability. They don’t stay there where there is less availability of food for raising their young. Therefore, there is a one-month gap between hatching their previous eggs and laying new ones. This is how their reproduction cycle goes on.

Are Snowy Owls Viviparous Like Some Mammals?

Before answering the question, we need to understand what is meant by viviparous. Viviparous organisms give live birth to offspring rather than laying eggs. And those who lay eggs are known as oviparous. The authors of also provide comprehensive research on this query. They said:

“Snowy owls are not viviparous, just like mammals. Snowy Owls are oviparous. They don’t give live birth.” ~ Source

Are Snowy Owls Warm-Blooded?

Snowy owl

According to the authors of the Akronzoo organization, snowy owls are warm-blooded. They have a special ability to generate heat for their bodies. All birds and mammals are known as warm-blooded. They can generate and regulate their internal temperature. In other words, they are endothermic. ~ Source

Snowy owls have a high metabolic rate. Their fluffy feathers help them create heat and survive in extreme Arctic temperatures. They produce heat energy to protect themselves and their babies. Thus, their feathers are a source of insulation for them. While flying, they expel extra energy; when they are stationary, they store energy.


What is the size of a snowy owl?

The size of a snowy owl ranges from 24 inches to 29.5 inches (60 to 75 cm). Additionally, they weigh between 1 and 2 kg. These measurements show that these are not ordinary or little birds. These Tundra owls are the big birds. ~ Source

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What is the order of snowy owls?

The order of snowy owls is Strigiformes (owl order). It belongs to the family Strigidae (true owls). Moreover, it lives in the Arctic Tundra, and some places in Europe, North America, and Asia. Lastly, its scientific name is Bubo scandiacus.

Do snowy owls possess fur or feathers?

Short owls have feathers on their entire body. Soft feathers even cover their feet and some frontier parts of their faces. Their feathers act like blankets or warm clothes in winter and icy temperatures.

What is the wing size of a snowy owl?

A snowy owl’s size, or wingspan, ranges from 4.2 to 4.8 feet. They are much larger and have a wider wingspan than other birds. That is why these owl species are included in the list of the largest birds in the world.

Are all owls birds?

Yes. All owls are birds. However, owls have some traits that are not typically found in other birds. But owls are birds because they have feathers, wings, and can lay eggs. Interestingly, owls have more than 200 species of nocturnal and solitary owls.


Snowy owls are incredible birds. They exhibit several avian traits, such as feathers for silent flight, the ability to lay eggs, and a beak for snatching prey. Even though each owl species has distinctive adaptations and behaviors, their classification as birds remain constant in all research. These incredible birds are living their lives in truly distinctive ways.

If you have any suggestions or questions, you can ask us. We will answer all your questions. And you’ll gain a new-found appreciation for these wild birds!

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