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Owls Big and Small

Updated on June 14, 2016

The Northern Spotted Owl

By John and Karen Hollingworth Public Domain
By John and Karen Hollingworth Public Domain | Source

The northern spotted owl's scientific name is Strix occidentalis caurina. They are a subspecies of the spotted owl, and they like to live in old-growth forests.

The northern spotted owl is one of the largest owls in North America. Their body is chestnut-brown, and their head, neck, back and belly have white spots on them They have dark brown and barred with light brown or white flight feathers.

The northern spotted owl hunts at night looking for flying squirrels, wood rats, mice and small rodents to eat. They will on occasion eat birds, insects and reptiles.

The female will lay 2 to 3 eggs, and she will sit on them for 30 days until they hatch. The female will remain in the nest with her babies 8 to 10 days after they hatch. When a female is in the nest with the babies, the male will bring her food. The babies will fledged in 34 to 36 days after hatching.

They are losing their habitat, and their numbers are decreasing. You will find them living in old-growth forests in Canada and the Pacific northwest of the United States. They are now protected in many areas.

The Blakiston's Fish Owl

By Robert tde CC BY-SA 2.0
By Robert tde CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

The Blakiston's Fish=owl's scientific name is Ketupa Blakistoni. The Blakiston's Fish-owl is found in Asia, Russia, China and Japan.

The are the largest and rarest member of the owl family. They are 71cm long, and their wingspan is 190cm. They will weigh 3.4 to 4.1kg.

The Blakiston's Fish-owl eats fish, and they love salmon. They also eat mice, rabbits and ducks.

The baby Blakiston's Fish owl will be looked after by their parents until they are over a year old.

Their numbers are decreasing because the forests are being cut down, and dams and fisheries are being built. They are hunted, and many are being killed by cars and trains. They are every rare and endangered.

The people in Hokkaido, Japan put out food for them. They have put out bird feeders for them. They are doing everything they can to try and keep the Blakiston's Fish-owl from becoming extinct.

The Common Barn Owl

Tyto alba-British  Wildlife Centre By Peter Trimming CC BY-SA 2.0
Tyto alba-British Wildlife Centre By Peter Trimming CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

The common barn owl's scientific name is Tyto alba.

The common barn owl is found from southern Canada to southern Chile and from the east to west Hemisphere. They like to live where there are trees, abandoned burrows, buildings, old abandoned farm machinery, forests and grasslands.

The common barn owl is 17 to 18 inches long and will weigh 1 pound. They will have a 43 inch wingspan. They have a body that is white, and their wings are red-brown speckled. Their beak is sharp.

They are meat eaters, and they like small rodents the best. They will also eat other small mammals.

They move around at night and during the day. They like to hunt during the day. They will hold their prey with their sharp talons and tear it apart with their hooked beak.

They are preyed on by the great horned owl and humans.

The male and female will incubate the eggs and feed the babies. The male will bring the female and young their food. The babies are independent when they are 10 to 12 weeks old.

They are losing their habitat. They are now protected in the United States.

The Eagle Owl

By Brocken Iniglory CC BY-SA 3.0
By Brocken Iniglory CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Eagle Owl is found in many areas of Africa. They like to live in woodlands, and savannas and tree lined water areas.

The Giant Eagle Owl is the world's largest owl. They have a huge body and wingspan. The Eagle Owl has light grey feathers. They have a pale face that is outlined in black. They have eyelids that are pink. Their belly is and color with dark brown or grey streaks. Their head is grey, and their beak is large and strong. They have ear tufts that extend over their eyes, and their feet and talons are very large and strong.

Their diet is game birds and small mammals. They will eat Guinea fowl and scrub hares. They are also known to kill Vervet Monkeys, Secretary birds but their favorite are hedgehogs. You will find them moving around at dawn and dusk. They seldom look for food during the day. They prefer to roost in the shade in large trees.

The female Eagle Owl will lay her eggs, and the male will help her incubate them until they hatch in 39 days. They usually live alone or in pairs.

The Pearl Spotted Owl

Pearl spotted owl in Etosha National Park  By Yathen S Kreshnappa CC BY-SA 3.0
Pearl spotted owl in Etosha National Park By Yathen S Kreshnappa CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

You will find the Pearl Spotted Owl living all over Southern Africa. They live in open savannahs and open woodlands. They move around during the day, and they are found alone or in pairs.

They are a very small owl. They do not have ears. Their head is cinnamon brown, and their facial disks are off-white. They have a brown upper body with white spots. They have a white streaked with brown under body. They will weigh 85g.

The Pearl Spotted Owl will prey on arthropods, insects, bats and small rodents. They have been known to catch laughing doves which is a great feat considering the laughing dove weighs over twice as much as they do.. Their very strong talons enable them to catch prey larger than they are.

The female will lay 2 to 4 eggs, and the male helps her incubate them until they hatch in 29 days. The babies will fledge when they are 31 days old.

They will move around during the day. They will be found in pairs or alone. The Pearl Spotted Owl has what looks like eyes on the back of their head. This confuses their predators.

The African Scopes Owl

By Vernon Swanspoel CC BY-SA 2.0
By Vernon Swanspoel CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

You will find the Scope owl living south of the Sahara in most of Africa. They like to live in scrub, bush and woodlands with little ground cover. They also like acacia forests and savannas.

The Scops Owl is grey and small with a white face with black edges. They have ear-tufts that are large. They are 19 to 24cm long. They will be found moving around at night.

They will mainly eat insects. Sometimes they will eat small birds and rodents. They will drop down on prey from a perch.

They never build their won nest, but use abandoned nests of other birds. They have been known to use hollows in trees and nests that are on the ground. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs that will hatch in 30 days. The babies move out of the nest at 4 weeks of age and will fly a few days later.

The Scops Owl is an Old World owl.

The Pel's Fishing Owl CC BY-SA2.0 CC BY-SA2.0 | Source

The Pel's Fishing Owl is one of the world's largest owl species. They are 20 to 25 inches long and have a 60 inch wingspan. They usually weigh 4.4 to 5.2 pounds. Their tail is 8.1 to 8.6 inches long.

The Pel's Fishing Owl has an aquatic lifestyle. They have very little feathering on their toes and they have scales on the bottom of their feet that help them hold on to the slippery fish. The Pel's Fishing Owl does not have great hearing like most owls.

The adult Pel's Fishing Owl is a ginger rufous color with dark bars on their upper body. Their lower body has scales. Their head has long feathers around it. They have straw colored and unfeathered toes. They have a white throat. They have a barred tail and flight feathers.

You will find the Pel's Fishing Owl in the sub-Saharan Africa. They do not like the drier areas. They like to live in forests along lakes and rivers. You will also find them in swamps that are up around 5,600 feet. They do not migrate.

They usually move around at night and on moonlit nights they are the most active. When prey is scarce they will move around during the day. They will perch on stumps and branches over the water at dusk.

The Pel's Fishing Owl will mainly eat fish. They can eat fish that weigh over 4 pounds but they prefer fish that weigh 3 to 7 ounces. They eat all kinds of fish that are at the waters edge. They will on rare occasions eat crabs frogs, mussels and sometimes large insects. They will find fish by the ripples in the water. They seldom get wet when they are catching fish.

At this time the Pel's Fishing Owl is not threatened. They do need large areas with plenty of water to survive so things could change in the future.

The Flammulated Owl

Courtesy of Public Domain
Courtesy of Public Domain | Source

Flammulated owls are small being only 6 inches long and their wingspan is 14 inches. The female will weigh 62 to 65 grams and the males will weigh 50 to 52 grams.

You will find the Flammulated owl living in Canada and the United States. They will migrate to Central America and Mexico for the winter.

The female will lay 2 to 4 eggs in tree cavities. The eggs will hatch in 26 days. The babies can take care of themselves when they are 25 to 32 days old. The female will use tree cavities that have been used by woodpeckers and flickers for her nest.

During nesting time the female depends on the male to bring her food. They will usually nest in open ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests. They can also be found breeding in deciduous forests with some conifers.

The Flammulated owl is not considered threatened at this time.


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    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks for comment. I am glad you were able to release the owl. That was great.

    • moonlake profile image


      2 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub so many different owls. We once walked in our kitchen and there stood our 15 year old son with a great horned owl on his arm. He had found him in a trap. We were able to release him.

    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks for comment. The only one I have seen in the wild is the Barn Owl. We had a 2 in our barn that hung around for years.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very nice material. I have met the Great Horned, Barred and Barn Owls in the wild. Having done rehab volunteer worked, I also met the Saw-Whet and Screech Owls, all US birds.


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