The Rare Albino Owl:
FAQs of this Beautiful Bird! [4 Images]

An Albino Owl? Now that's something interesting to discover. Read this post to learn everything there is to know about these creatures.

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David A. Swanson

August 01, 2021

The Rare Albino Owl: FAQs of this Beautiful Bird! [4 Images] Thumbnail

What’s This Post About?

As we all know, owls are fascinating creatures, and you would find most avid birders reading up about them. We have also come across a rare kind, known as the Albino Owl, which has made us curious about their existence.

Albinism occurs when there is little to no melanin present at birth in both animals and humans. Melanin is nature’s pencil, a pigment that gives color to hair, skin, and eyes.  Their big red eyes and completely white-feathered appearance make the Albino Owl stand out from its typical-looking fellows.

An Albino Owl is born without much or no melanin, the pigment which gives human and animal eyes, skin, and hair color. Albino owls are stunning. The reason being, we can see directly through the iris into the blood vessels within this albino owl’s eyes; and they appear in brilliant red color.



As stated earlier, this fascinating kind of owl has piqued the interest of several birdwatchers and, as a result, given rise to several questions in their mind.

We will be listing down the most frequently asked questions related to these birds so that you have a better understanding of their features, behaviors, and characteristics.

What are the Unique Characteristics of an Albino Owl?

Albinism occurs due to the lack of melanin present in the bodies of animals. An Albino Owl is all white in color, with its feathers being completely white and the eyes appearing as gigantic eyeballs, in the color red. Additionally, they have entirely pink skin along with tiny pink legs and a pink nose.

These features make them very unique, and to come across an Albino Owl, is a mighty rare occurrence. There have only been minimal sightings of these extraordinary creatures, and the chances of you coming across an Albino Owl are pretty minor.


There are over 200 species of owls known to humankind.

Is an Albino Owl Blind?

When thinking of an Albino Owl, you might assume that their eyesight is relatively weaker than regular owls, but this is not the case. An Albino Owl is not blind, and their vision is as good as that of a typical one.

The eyes of an owl aren’t actually ‘eyeballs’. Their tube-shaped eyes are completely stationary, allowing them to have binocular vision that entirely focuses on their prey while also enhancing depth awareness. The neck of an owl can rotate 270 degrees.

So you don’t have to be concerned about this feature, and we hope this clarifies any misunderstandings you may have had about their vision.


The Elf Owl, which is 5 to 6 inches long and weighs approximately 12 ounces, is the world's tiniest owl.

What is the Difference Between an Albino Owl and a Snowy Owl?


An Albino Owl is entirely devoid of melanin in its body. Albinism makes them appear white altogether in color, along with pink skin and legs and red eyes. In contrast, Snowy Owls do have melanin in their bodies.

The wingspan of a snowy owl is 4 feet, 7 inches. They have a black, short, powerful, and pointed beak and are big, white, and round-headed with golden eyes. Their claws and feet are densely coated in feathers, generally white with a few brown patches.

Snowy owls are found in the Arctic areas of Palearctic and the North America, where they mostly nest on the tundra.

What Does An Albino Owl Eat?

The diet and eating habits of an Albino Owl are pretty much the same as that of a regular one. They are known to be birds of prey, indicating that they hunt down other animals to devour on as their survival technique.

Their dietary habits comprise invertebrates; some examples of invertebrates are earthworms, crabs, snails, spiders, and insects. In addition, they also hunt down and eat reptiles, other birds, fish, amphibians, and smaller mammals. Although, the type of food they seek also depends on the species of owls.


Barn Owls consume up to 1,000 mice every year. In addition, researchers have recorded them to swallow their prey whole including bones, and everything.

Are Owl’s Albino or Leucistic?


Albinism means being completely devoid of melanin in the body, while leucism refers to the presence of the INO gene in the body, which causes discoloration. They are not the same and have quite a few scientific differences in between.

Owls are found to have both albinic and leucistic genetic disorders. We have witnessed few cases in which the owl is albinic and totally white in color. There are no color patches, which indicates that it is not leucism. In contrast, there have been multiple sightings of Leucistic Owls as well.

So to clearly put it, owls have been affected by both these genetic disorders.

Can Albino Owl’s Recognize a Human Face?

The straight-up answer to this question is yes; they do recognize human faces. Though, the question that arises is, are they fond of them? Well, there’s more to it.

Owls, in general, shun humans and react by flying away quickly. Since owls are one of the best camouflaged birds in ecology, most people who come close to them are unaware. However, if they feel endangered or someone comes too close to their nest or offspring, they will become violent.


Asymmetrical ears are found in several owl species. Their ears can detect the location of sounds in several dimensions when placed at different heights on the owl's head.

How Rare are Albino Owl’s?


Owls that are albino or leucistic are exceedingly unusual. It’s quite improbable that you’ll ever see one. This hereditary disease affects roughly 1% of the whole avian population, according to statistics.

How to Differentiate Between a Male and Female Albino Owl?

Well, realistically speaking, you will not be able to differentiate between the gender of a female or male Albino Owl. The reason being, in regular-looking owls, the differentiating factor is the color of the feathers. A male has a white throat if you’re discussing regular owls, while a female one has a brown throat, and the throat coloring extends on the sides as well.

Now when we talk about Albinic Owls, they are white in color. They do not have any coloration on their skin — the discoloration or absence of color results in the difficulty of not telling the gender apart.

How Should One Take Care Of An Albino Owl?

Albino Owls or owls, in general, want spacious areas to reside in, although it is not suggestive that you capture one as they prefer to fly around and live in their natural habitat.

Although, if you do really want to capture one, you should provide them with the required space along with both indoor and outdoor access and bathing facilities as they like keeping themselves and their feathers clean.


Owls are known to hunt other owls as well. Great Horned Owls are the most predatory amongst this species.

To locate these specular beings, you should definitely purchase a spotting scope, such as the BARSKA Colorado Spotting Scope , that will aid you in finding these birds.

BARSKA 15-40x50 Colorado Spotting Scope

Large 50mm objective lens with fully coated optics with porro prism system.

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Do not put owls in cages as they are likely to die sooner.

What is the Average Lifespan of an Albino Owl?

There is no concrete evidence stating the lifespan of an Albino Owl, as there are very few cases of them ever being witnessed or captured by humans. Typically owls can survive for 9 to 10 years on average. Their lifetime in captivity might be as long as 28 years, though.

The evident difference is that there are more dangers the Albino Owl is prone to in their natural habitat. As they have a unique appearance, predators are more likely to hunt them down.


The Great Grey Owl is an enormous owl that researchers have recorded—in North America, standing up to 32 inches tall.


An Albino Owl indeed is a rarity in this world, and to ever come across one, is the luckiest any avid birdwatcher can be. These birds do not have melanin present in their bodies, resulting in the absence of any color to be present in their bodies. They have white feathers, smaller than usual pink feet, pink skin, and big red eyes.

Their vision, in reality, is unaffected, and an Albino Owl can see typically as well as a regular owl. Albino Owls are not too fond of humans and prefer to be in open spaces rather than in captivity. Although, on the contrary, there are records of Owl’s living for longer in captivity than in natural habitats.

Assuming rare animals pique your interest, and you want to learn more about albinic and leucistic species - in that case, you should read our blog about Albino Peacocks , which entails some exciting questions regarding them along with some rare images.

The Rare Albino Peacock! 6 Amazing Images And 16 FAQs

Are you curious to know about the rare Albino Peacock? To learn about them, read this blog to find out more!

David A. Swanson Picture

By David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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David A. Swanson Picture

David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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