Range. - Arctic regions, breeding within the Arctic Circle and wintering to the northern border of the United States and casually farther.
This very beautiful species varies in plumage from pure white, unmarked, to specimens heavily and broadly barred with blackish brown. It is, next to the Great Gray Owl, the largest species found in America, being 2 feet in length. Like the Great Horned Owls, they are very strong, fearless, and rapacious birds, feeding upon hares, squirrels and smaller mammals, as well as Grouse, Ptarmigan, etc. They nest upon the ground, on banks or mossy hummocks on the dry portions of marshes, laying from two to eight eggs, white in color and with a smoother shell than those of the Great Horned Owl. Size 2.25 x 1.75. Data. - Point Barrow, Alaska, June 16, 1898. Three eggs laid in a hollow in the moss.