Owls

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing owl photo by Matiasloda / Wikimedia Commons.

Look for: The burrowing owl is quite small, weighing only about 150 grams (a third of a pound). Due to its brown and buff-white coloration, it is camouflaged extremely well. Birders and researchers learn that even if an owl does not reveal itself by movement or flight, the round shape of the head—such an unnatural… See details »

Spotted Owl

Spotted Owl (Photo: USFWS)

The spotted owl is a large, dark-eyed owl of the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest and the wooded canyons of the desert Southwest. Because of the spotted owl’s reliance on old-growth woodland, environmentalists and the timber logging industry have clashed over preserving habitat for this gentle species. Spotted owls resemble barred owls in… See details »

Barred Owl

Barred Owl (Photo: Creative Commons)

Look for A rounded, earless outline, smoky gray-brown plumage that is heavily mottled and barred with white, broad brown streaks on a white belly, and dark eyes distinguish the barred owl. Its bill and feet are yellow. Its familiar eight-hoot call gives way to raucous and sometimes frightening caterwauling in breeding season. Listen for Who… See details »

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl (Photo: USFWS)

Short-eared owls are medium-sized birds that hunt over grassy fields and marshes and are most likely to be seen at dusk, when field marks begin to fade. They breed across Alaska and northern Canada and south in the West to the center of the United States and in the East to New England and the… See details »

Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl (Photo: Kyle Carlsen)

Long-eared owls are medium-sized birds that hunt over grassy fields and marshes and are most likely to be seen at dusk, when field marks begin to fade. They breed from central Canada south in the West to the United States–Mexico border and in the East through New England and irregularly south in the Appalachians to… See details »

Snowy Owl

During late December 2013, an immature snowy owl was reported at Little Talbot Island State Park on the Atlantic coast, just north of Jacksonville, Florida. BWD contributor Harry B. Hooper describes his "chase" for this elusive visitor.Snowy Owl (Photo: David Syzdek/Wikimedia)

Look For The snowy owl, a nearly all-white bird of the far north, is difficult to confuse with anything else. Young birds and adult females are streaked with black. Older adults males are pure white. Some winters when small mammals are scarce in the far north, snowy owls head south in search of food. Listen… See details »

Great Horned Owl

The great horned owl is one of many Minnesota winter birds that birders seek. Photo by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren / Wikimedia Commons

Look for Huge, powerful, and widespread across North America, the great horned is the king of all of our owls. The great horned owl is named for its large size (up to 24 inches tall, with a wingspan of 44 inches) and its long feathered head tufts (horns). A deep rusty brown and buff overall… See details »

Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl, red phase (Photo: Wikimedia)

Look For The most common of our small owls, the eastern screech-owl comes in two color morphs: red and gray, with gray being the more common. Its small size, cryptic coloration, and inactivity during the day make this bird easy to overlook. Listen For Eastern screech-owls utter a series of high, wavering whinnies that descend… See details »

Barn Owl

Barn Owl (Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

Barn owls are medium-sized birds that hunt over grassy fields and marshes and are most likely to be seen at dusk, when field marks begin to fade. They breed throughout much of the United States, but they are rare along the northern tier states and in the higher mountains. They winter throughout much of the… See details »

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