A small, round, short-tailed and large-headed owl with yellow eyes, lacking ear tufts. Adult has thick rufous streaks below on whitish breast, dark wings with white spots, dark back, and white eyebrows on dark face with streaked crown. Sexes are similar. Boreal Owl is more black and white, lacking rufous tones, with a black frame around face and spotted crown.
Length: 20 (cm) Wingspan: 42 (cm)
Incessant series of whistles, similar to Northern Pygmy-Owl but faster paced. Also screeches and barks.
Coniferous woodland, especially near edges of open areas.
Strictly nocturnal, difficult to observe. Roosts by day in dense tree or shrub; may accumulate whitewash under regular daytime perches. Nest is in cavity. Sometimes uses nest boxes.
Eats mice, voles, insects, bats, and other small animals.
Expanded Life History
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There is considerable debate about whether this owl is migratory or nomadic. Stable isotope work done by Charles Priestly in Alberta suggests that birds may move north post-breeding. Banding records show a considerable southward movement in the fall, but lack of site fidelity may indicate it is not a true migration.by Ann Nightingale on September 02, 2011 at 10:32 am
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