This painting I did illustrates the Snowy Owl in a scene that many southern Ontarians may be lucky enough to view. When food is scarce in their northern locations they often migrate south to a more food-friendly location. Historically the birds travel southward, well outside their normal range, every four years or so. This is called an irruption. But, for many reasons, not all understood, snowies have been "irrupting" more often, and some predict another banner year for southern sightings. The migration is related to food, specifically the population of lemmings, the owl's dietary staple. When lemming populations are low, snowy owls don't breed. Consequently, those are years we don't see these owls in the southern U.S. and Canada. Snowy owls are diurnal, which means that unlike most other owls they are active and hunt during the day and night. They are known to sit and wait for their prey and spend most of their time perched still and silent on prominent lookouts like a rail fence post, as seen in my painting.