Snowy owls bring festive cheer to zoo
Dublin Zoo has received something of an early Christmas gift in the form two snowy owls.
The sibling birds, which came from Linton Zoo in the UK, are less than 12 months old and so it is too early to tell whether they are male or female.
The Arctic birds, characterised by their striking white plumage, are one of the largest species of owl. In the wild, they are typically found in the far reaches of North America and on the fringes of the Arctic Circle.
Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise the owl as Harry's famous feathered companion, Hedwig.
While adult males are virtually pure white, females and young birds have more speckled coats.
Dublin Zoo authorities said the owls were particularly gentle in nature with excellent eyesight and a keen sense of hearing.
Team leader Eddie O’Brien said: “We are thrilled with the arrival of the snowy owls.”
“When we confirm the gender of the sibling chicks we will introduce suitable partners for them in the hope they will mate and breed."
“They are settling in very well and are accustomed to our cold weather. The owls actually love this time of year."