Otherworldly beautiful large owl. White with a variable amount of black markings; old males are the whitest, while immature females have the densest dark patterning. Breeds on the Arctic tundra and winters in northern Eurasia and North America, where it favors expansive open habitats. Often encountered on lakeshores and in coastal areas with fields, marshes, piers, and sand dunes. Irruptive, moving considerably south of the usual wintering range some years.