The animal community of the Budakeszi Wildlife welcomed a genuinely special new member, as visitors can now meet Bella, the marvellous snowy owl. One-year old Bella came from the city of Ostrava in the Czech republic, and is a true rarity in Hungarian zoos, as it is originally native to the Northern Tundra. Although the Budakeszi Wildlife park is primarily committed to present species indigenous to Hungary or introduced to the Carpathian Basin earlier, visitors have had the chance of meeting species that can rarely be seen in Hungarian zoos, such as moose and bison. Bella is also a curiosity; visitors have been able to admire its special plumage since the end of March. Snowy owls live in the Northern Tundra, so they can be seen in the Carpathian Basin on very rare occasions, mainly when they cannot find enough food in their original habitat. The new dweller came from the city of Ostrava in the Czech republic, and luckily, she won’t be alone for a long time, as she’s going to get company soon in the shape of a male snowy owl. The keepers of the wildlife park hope that Bella will soon gladden visitors with grey, freckled nestlings.
The specially protected snowy owl is about 50-60 centimeters tall, and weighs around 1.5-2 kilogrammes. It builds a scrape on top of a mound or rocks, or sometimes scrapes a hollow in the ground. Breeding occurs from May to June, clutch sizes range from 4 to 9 eggs on average, but can reach as many as 12 in case there is a big amount of prey available. Similarly to other avian predators males are smaller than females, and they can be told apart by their plumage. While males are almost entirely white, females have have more flecks of black plumage and bars on their backs. Like other large birds, they can live as long as 10 years.