Snowy owls are the largest North American owls, and they’re among the largest owls in the world. They are 20” – 28” in length, with a wingspan of 54” – 66”, and weigh 3.25lb – 6.5lb. Males are typically smaller than females.
Despite their name, most snowy owls are not pure snowy white. They range from all white to black and white, with a pattern of dark, prominent bars—except on the face, which is always white. Females typically have more dark markings than males.
The eyes of snowy owls, like those of all owls, are enormous in proportion to their heads. Owls cannot move their eyes, so they must turn their entire heads, which they swivel a full 270° with the help of 14 neck vertebrae. Snowy owls have deep yellow eyes. A protruding upper eyelid acts as a shade from sunlight.