snowy owl

noun

Definition of snowy owl 

: a large ground-nesting diurnal arctic owl (Nyctea scandiaca) that enters the chiefly northern parts of the U.S. in winter and has plumage that is sometimes nearly pure white but usually with brownish spots or bars

Illustration of snowy owl

Illustration of snowy owl

Examples of snowy owl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Surprisingly, winter is an excellent time for viewing birdlife like bald eagles and snowy owls, which come down to New England from the Arctic to mate. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Things to Do in New England This Winter," 25 Jan. 2018 Lorax is now the second snowy owl that the Wild Bird Fund has rehabilitated in the last year and a half. Aaron Robertson, New York Times, "An Unusual Jailbird Is Found at Rikers Island: A Snowy Owl," 3 July 2018 There are also the migrants, such as the snowy owl, that come to Wisconsin from Canada. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Winter birding in Wisconsin delivers sightings of snowy owls, eagles and more," 16 Feb. 2018 This Thursday, after three months at the Raptor Rehab of Kentucky, this snowy owl will be driven to Wisconsin to be released back into the wild. James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal, "Months after a daring rescue on a Louisville freeway, a snowy owl is about to be set free," 20 Mar. 2018 Birds noted on South Monomoy Island included 2 blue-winged teal, 3 Northern shovelers, 14 Northern pintails, a glaucous gull, 5 American oystercatchers, and a snowy owl. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings on Cape Cod," 30 Apr. 2018 The next year, Piper was benched after hurting his leg while jumping out of a pickup truck to chase a snowy owl. Washington Post, "Civil liberties groups seek DOJ records on efforts to reform police departments," 6 Mar. 2018 Scott Diehl releases a snowy owl back into the wild north of Port Washington. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "‘The human heart will not just walk away’ — majestic snowy owl returns to the wild," 15 Jan. 2018 Briggs often sees Arctic foxes, but snowy owls are less common. National Geographic, "Arctic Fox and Snowy Owl Filmed Doing Strange 'Dance'—But Why?," 10 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snowy owl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of snowy owl

1781, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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The first known use of snowy owl was in 1781

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