burrowing owls

Types of Owls in Arizona (with Pictures)

The data was acquired only from trustworthy sources and double-checked with an Ornithologist.

Do you know what types of owls live in Arizona? If not, you’re in for a treat! In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of owls that can be found in the Grand Canyon State. From the Great Horned Owl to the Burrowing Owl, there are many different species of owl that call Arizona home. So put on your hiking boots and get ready to learn all about these fascinating creatures!

Most Common Owls in Arizona

whiskered screech-owl

Whiskered Screech-Owl

The Whiskered Screech-Owl is a small owl with a large head and eyes. The ear tufts are inconspicuous. It has a gray-brown body with pale streaks on the breast and belly. The wings and tail are barred with gray, brown, and white. This owl is found in woodlands, canyons, and desert areas of Arizona.

The Whiskered Screech-Owl is a nocturnal owl that hunts for insects, rodents, and small birds. It perches on a branch or other high vantage point and watches for prey. It also uses its sharp claws and beak to kill its prey.

This owl typically nests in trees, but it will also nest in man-made structures such as buildings and bridges.

If you are lucky enough to see a Whiskered Screech-Owl, you can identify it by its small size, large head, and bright eyes. You may also hear its loud screeching call. This owl is a fascinating bird to watch, and it is a valuable part of the ecosystem in Arizona.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl is a large owl with prominent ear tufts. It has a large head and yellow eyes. The body is mottled brown and white. The wings are long and broad. The tail is short and square.

Great Horned Owls are proficient hunters and will take prey of all sizes, including skunks, rabbits, and birds up to the size of a crow. They hunt from perches or by flying low over the ground. Great Horned Owls are found in woodlands throughout North and South America.

In Arizona, they are most common in riparian woodlands near water. Great Horned Owls nest in trees or on cliffs. The female lays two to three eggs. The young owls fledge at about eight weeks of age.

Great Horned Owls are generally nocturnal, but they may be seen hunting at dawn and dusk. During the day, they roost in trees or on cliffs. Great Horned Owls are not migratory, but individuals may move to new areas if prey is scarce.

If you see a Great Horned Owl in Arizona, you can report your sighting to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. By doing so, you will help biologists track the distribution and abundance of this species in our state.

flammulated owl

Flammulated Owl

The Flammulated Owl is a small owl with large ear tufts. It is mottled brown above and white with brown streaks below. The eyes are dark and the bill is pale.

This owl ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico. In Arizona, it is found in the mountains of the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains.

The Flammulated Owl nests in cavities in trees. It often uses old woodpecker holes. The female lays three to seven white eggs on a bed of pellets and down. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 28 days. The young owls fledge 50-60 days after hatching.

This owl is nocturnal and hunts for small mammals and insects. It perches on a branch or snag and watches for prey. When it sees an animal, it swoops down to capture it with its talons.

The Flammulated Owl is a state threatened species in Arizona. It is protected by state and federal law. You can help this owl by putting up nesting boxes in areas where they live. You can also help by not cutting down trees in their habitat.

burrowing owls

Burrowing Owls

Burrowing owls are small, long-legged owls with a round head and no ear tufts. They get their name from their habit of nesting and roosting in burrows excavated by other animals, such as prairie dogs.

Burrowing owls occur in dry grasslands, deserts, or agricultural areas with low vegetation. They are found in all parts of Arizona except for the extreme northwest corner and the White Mountains.

Burrowing owls hunt during the day and night, but they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their diet consists of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds.

To attract a mate, male burrowing owls perform a “sky dance” in which they fly high into the air and then swoop down low while calling. After establishing a nest, both parents help to incubate the eggs and care for the young.

long-eared owls

Long-eared Owls

The long-eared owl is a medium-sized owl with prominent ear tufts. It has yellow eyes and a dark facial disk with white around the eyes. The upperparts are brown with white spotting, while the underparts are pale with heavy brown streaking. This owl ranges in size from 15 to 20 inches in length and has a wingspan of up to 48 inches.

Long-eared owls are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and grasslands. In Arizona, they are most commonly found in ponderosa pine forests at elevations between 4000 and 7000 feet.

These owls hunt at night, using their excellent hearing to locate small mammals such as mice and voles. They will also take birds, reptiles, and insects.

To attract a long-eared owl to your yard, try putting up a nest box or placing a perch near some dense foliage. These owls do not typically use man-made structures for nesting, but they will roost in them.

Long-eared owls are relatively common owls in Arizona, so you may be lucky enough to see one without even trying!

If you do see a long-eared owl, take care not to disturb it.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls

The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl is a small owl found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is about six to seven inches in length and has a rounded head with no ear tufts.

The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl’s upperparts are brown or grayish-brown, and its underparts are white with brown streaks. It has a whitish face with a brown or grayish-brown eyebrow and a dark line through the eye.

The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl is found in dry, open habitats such as deserts, prairies, and woodlands. It perches on low branches or posts and watches for prey. The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl hunts during the day and night. It eats a variety of small animals, including rodents, bats, lizards, and birds.

The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl is a non-migratory bird. It nests in tree cavities or nest boxes. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are solitary birds. They are most active at dawn and dusk.

elf owl

Elf. Owl

The Elf Owl is the smallest owl in North America, and one of the smallest owls in the world. They are nocturnal predators that eat mostly insects. Elf Owls can be found in woodlands, deserts, and grasslands throughout Arizona.

To identify an Elf Owl, look for its small size (about six inches long), round head with large eyes, and pale coloring. Elf Owls also have a distinctive call that sounds like a high-pitched trill.

If you’re lucky enough to see an Elf Owl in the wild, you’ll likely see it hunting at night. They are expert flyers and can even hover in midair to catch their prey. Elf Owls typically nest in cavities in trees or cacti, so you may also see them near these habitats.

Western-Screech Owl

Related article: Types of Owls in Virginia

Western Screech Owls

The Western Screech Owl is a small owl with large, ear-tufts. They have a round head with yellow eyes. Their body is brown with white spots and their wings are barred. They can be found in woodlands, deserts, and grasslands.

To identify a Western Screech Owl, look for the following characteristics:

  • small size
  • large ear tufts
  • round head
  • yellow eyes
  • brown body with white spots
  • barred wings

When identifying Western Screech Owls, it is important to know their habitat. They can be found in woodlands, deserts, and grasslands. Look for them in trees, on fence posts, or on power lines.

If you are lucky enough to spot a Western Screech Owl, you may be able to see them hunt. They are nocturnal hunters and will perch on a high point before swooping down on their prey. Be sure to keep your distance, as they may view you as a threat.

Northern-Pygmy Owls

Northern Pygmy Owl

The Northern Pygmy Owl is a small owl with large, round eyes. It has a light brown body with darker brown streaks. The Northern Pygmy Owl is found in forests and woodlands of North America. It preys on mice, voles, and other small mammals.

To identify a Northern Pygmy Owl, look for its small size and round eyes. Its light brown body with darker brown streaks is also a key identifier. If you see this owl in North America, it’s likely a Northern Pygmy Owl! To learn more about this owl’s behavior and habitat, read on.

The Northern Pygmy Owl is found in forests and woodlands across North America. It prefers to hunt in trees, but will also hunt on the ground. This owl stalks its prey before pouncing on it. The Northern Pygmy Owl feeds on small mammals such as mice and voles.

The Northern Pygmy Owl is a relatively silent owl. However, it will sometimes make a hooting sound. This owl is also known to screech and hiss when threatened.

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Northern Saw-Wheat Owl

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small owl with a large head and no ear tufts. It has bright yellow eyes and a black beak. The body is brown with white spots. The wings are brown with white bars. The tail is brown with white bands.

This owl is found in northern Arizona in the ponderosa pine forests. It nests in holes in trees. The Northern Saw-whet Owl eats small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews. It hunts at night by perching on a tree branch and watching for prey below.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small owl with a large head and no ear tufts. It has bright yellow eyes and a black beak. The body is brown with white spots. The wings are brown with white bars. The tail is brown with white bands.

This owl is found in northern Arizona in the ponderosa pine forests. It nests in holes in trees. The Northern Saw-whet Owl eats small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews. It hunts at night by perching on a tree branch and watching for prey below.

To attract a mate, the male Northern Saw-whet Owl hoots a loud, repetitive song. He also performs a flight display in which he flies back and forth in front of the female while calling. If she is receptive, the two owls will mate and the female will lay a clutch of eggs in the nest. Both parents help to raise the young owls.

barn owl

Barn Owls

Barn Owls are one of the most widespread owl species in North America, and they can be found in a variety of habitats. In Arizona, Barn Owls are most commonly found in riparian areas, desert scrub, and grasslands.

There are several ways to identify a Barn Owl. One is by their distinctive call, which is a long, drawn-out screech. Another way to identify a Barn Owl is by their unique facial disc, which is white with a black border. Finally, Barn Owls are also one of the largest owl species, with a wingspan that can reach up to four feet.

Barn Owls are nocturnal predators, and they primarily hunt small mammals such as rats, mice, and voles. In Arizona, Barn Owls also occasionally prey on reptiles and birds. To hunt their prey, Barn Owls use their sharp eyesight and silent flight to locate and capture their victims.

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls are one of the most widespread and familiar owls in North America. They can be found in open habitats across the continent, from Alaska to Labrador, and south to Mexico.

These adaptable birds will even nest on the ground in grassy meadows or tundra. Short-eared Owls are easily recognized by their small size, round head, and bright yellow eyes. They are also one of the only owls with ear tufts that are actually quite short!

When hunting, Short-eared Owls perch on fence posts or low branches and scan the ground for prey. They will also swoop down to the ground to capture rodents or birds. These owls are most active at dawn and dusk, but can sometimes be seen hunting during the day.

Short-eared Owls are medium-sized owls with rounded heads and no ear tufts. They have bright yellow eyes and a dark brown facial disk. The upperparts are brown with white streaks, while the underparts are pale with dark streaks. These owls have a wingspan of about three feet.

Are owls good to have around your house?

Owls are nocturnal predators, which means they are active at night. This can be a problem for people who are trying to sleep! Owls also have sharp claws and beaks, which can be dangerous to humans and pets.

However, owls are also interesting and beautiful birds. They are important members of the ecosystem, and they help to control populations of rodents and other pests. If you are interested in having an owl around your house, there are a few things you should consider.

First, make sure you live in an area where owls are found. Owls are not found in all parts of the world. Second, make sure you have a place for the owl to nest. Owls need a safe place to raise their young. Finally, make sure you are prepared for the noise. Owls can be very loud, especially when they are hunting at night.

What does it mean when you see an owl?

Some people believe that seeing an owl is a sign of bad luck. Owls are often associated with death and darkness. However, other cultures see owls as symbols of wisdom and good fortune.

In many Native American cultures, owls are considered to be keepers of the night. They are thought to be wise and helpful spirits. Owls are also often associated with magic and mystery.

What is the most common owl in Arizona?

The most common owls in Arizona are the Whiskered Screech-Owls. These small owls are found in woodlands, canyons, and desert areas of the state. They are nocturnal predators that hunt for insects, rodents, and small birds. If you are lucky enough to see one of these owls, you can identify it by its small size, large head, and bright eyes. You may also hear its loud screeching call. This owl is a fascinating bird to watch, and it is a valuable part of the ecosystem in Arizona.