I’m on an owl kick today…
Climate change is affecting the color of owls in Finland.
Researchers who looked at Finnish tawny owls over the last 28 years found that the brown variant is winning over the gray one in the wild.
Plumage color is about 80% heritable in Strix aluco, the Finnish tawny owl. The researchers modeled the survival of 466 owls and found that historically, brown owls had lower survival rate compared to gray owls in winter when there was lots of snow. “Predation on brown individuals may be more severe under snow-rich conditions,” the paper says.