If you live along the eastern seaboard of the United States, now is the time to look for snowy owls, Bubo scandiacus. These mostly-white owls, made famous by Harry Potter's faithful companion, Hedwig, are Arctic birds as one realises when they catch a glimpse of their thick insulative plumage -- even their feet and toes are protected with feathers. Despite this, lots of these birds are suddenly appearing in all sorts of strange places -- even in Bermuda and Hawaii!
Snowy owls are large and dramatic birds, standing two feet tall with a five-foot wingspan, making them very conspicuous. Adult males are pure white whilst the larger females retain some dark barring on their feathers. The juveniles and immatures have much heavier barring on their plumage. (Keen-eyed observers will notice that Hedwig was actually portrayed in the Harry Potter films by a number of individuals,