Snowy Owl Calls (Learn their 3 Sounds)

Snowy Owls may be one of the only birds I have gone searching for, but I never thought to learn their calls. Of course, to my surprise, Snowy Owls have three calls that they typically make along with other sounds, like bill snapping. 

For those of us in North America, Snowy Owls are considered rare and hard to locate because they only arrive in the winter and prefer to stay on the ground blending in with the snow. These black and white large owls are native to the Arctic Circle, where they hunt lemmings and raise their young. 


  • Make sure to press PLAY on the audio files below. 🙂

Sound #1: The Hoot

The Snowy Owl hoot is more raspy and lower sounding than what we typically think of as a hoot. It can be given by both males and females but typically is given by the male. This hoot can be heard up to 7 miles away on the tundra.

Sound #2: “Laughs and Hoots”

Living on the tundra also means nesting on the ground. A Snowy Owl nest can be fairly rudimentary and easily predated upon by foxes and wolves, thus, Snowy Owls have a fair amount of defense calls like this one.

Sound #3: “Whistle Call”

Snowy Owls will use this whistle call as defense from other owls, predators, or humans. They also might snap their bills as a warning when feeling threatened.

Have you ever heard the calls and sounds of a Snowy Owl before?

If so, please let us know below!


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