This yellow-eyed, black-beaked white bird is easily recognizable. It is 52–71 cm long, with a 125–150 cm wingspan. Also, these owls can weigh anywhere from 1.6 to 3 kg . The average lifespan in the wild is 9.5 years. It is one of the largest species of owl and, in North America, is on average the heaviest owl species. The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark spots; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily feathered taloned feet, and colouration render the snowy owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle. Between 1967 and 1975, snowy owls bred on the remote island of Fetlar in the Shetland Isles north of Scotland. Females summered as recently as 1993, but their status in the British Isles is now that of a rare winter visitor to Shetland, the Outer Hebrides and the Cairngorms.