A Winter's Tale - The Journey of the Snowy Owls

Nature & Wildlife 45' 2014 HD

Snowy owls live a life full of mystery up in the Arctic. Thousands of years ago, they built a community of fate with their neighbors – lemmings. About every four years, lemmings proliferate in huge numbers. This way, snowy owls have enough feed for their young. The owls lay up to eleven eggs and can successfully raise the chicks – each of them needs two to four lemmings per day. Lately, however, lemmings’ mass reproduction hasn’t been as regular in some parts of the Tundra. What will happen to them and the snowy owls? What is the ecological link here? And what will happen if one year the winter arrives way too early?

The best way for many birds to adapt to the winter is to flee to the South. But lemmings can’t migrate and have to endure temperatures as low as -40°C. Meanwhile, if the winter is too cold and the snow level too high, even the perfectly adapted owls have to migrate in order to survive. A fascinating journey from the Arctic to Central Europe begins. Following the owls on this uncommon path, the viewer learns how animals adapt to the inhospitable climate conditions, what ecological restraints bear down on the northern fauna and which fantastic survival strategies the animals can develop.

This unique documentary tells a fascinating and breathtaking story: as in a fairy tale, the snowy owls leave us a message from the changing Arctic.

Produced by

naturfilm - Klaus Weissmann & Dietmar Nill


German, English, French


WDR, BR, arte

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