Obelisk Art History

Snowy Owl

John James Audubon, 1827 – 1838
Snowy Owl, John James Audubon
Snowy Owl, zoomed in
100.3 cmSnowy Owl scale comparison72.4 cm
See Snowy Owl in the Kaleidoscope

Snowy Owl is an Enlightenment Engraving Print created by John James Audubon from 1827 to 1838. It lives at the Watkinson Library, Trinity College in the United States. The image is in the Public Domain, and tagged Birds and Owl. SourceDownload

“The Snowy Owl hunts during the day, as well as in the dusk. Its flight is firm and protracted, although smooth and noiseless. It passes swiftly over its hunting ground, seizes its prey by instantaneously falling on it, and generally devours it on the spot. When the objects of its pursuit are on wing, such as ducks, grouse, or pigeons, it gains upon them by urging its speed, and strikes them somewhat in the manner of the Peregrine Falcon. It is fond of the neighborhood of rivers and small streams, having in their course cataracts or shallow rapids, on the borders of which it seizes on fishes, in the manner of our wild cat. It also watches the traps set for musk-rats, and devours the animals caught in them. Its usual food, while it remains with us, consists of hares, squirrels, rats, and fishes, portions of all of which I have found in its stomach.”

— John James Audubon, from Birds of America

Reed Enger, "Snowy Owl," in Obelisk Art History, Published May 10, 2017; last modified October 11, 2022, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/john-james-audubon/snowy-owl/.

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