Types of Owls in Connecticut (with Pictures)

long-eared owl

There are many different types of owls that can be found in Connecticut. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most common species. The barred owl is the most widespread owl in the state and can be found in both rural and urban areas. The eastern screech-owl is another common species and is known for its distinctive “screeching” call. The great horned owl is the largest owl in Connecticut, and is capable of taking down prey as large as a deer! Finally, we will take a look at the snowy owl, which is often seen along the coast during the winter months.

Only trustworthy sources and a bird biologist were consulted for this study, which was based on information gathered from reliable resources.

Most Common Owls in CT

Northern Hawk-Owl

northern-hawk owl

The Northern Hawk-Owl is a medium-sized owl with a wingspan of about 43 inches. They have broad, rounded wings and their tails are long and barred. The body feathers are mostly brown with some white barring on the chest. They have a large, round head with yellow eyes and prominent ear tufts. Females are larger than males.

The Northern Hawk-Owl is a diurnal owl, meaning they are active during the day. They are mostly solitary birds, but can sometimes be seen in pairs or small groups. They hunt mainly rodents and other small mammals, but will also eat birds and insects. They typically perch on a tree branch and wait for their prey to come within range, but will also actively search for food.

The Northern Hawk-Owl breeds in coniferous forests across northern North America. The nest is a large platform of sticks built in the fork of a tree. Both parents help to incubate the eggs and care for the young owls.

Northern Hawk Owl

Barred Owls

barred owl

The Barred Owl is a large owl with a round head and no ear tufts. It has dark eyes and a yellow beak. The upper parts are brown with white bars and the underparts are pale with heavy dark streaks.

The wings are long and rounded. The tail is short and square. Females and males look alike, but juveniles are barred below and have a browner head.

This owl is found in forests, wooded suburbs, and open country with trees. It hunts at night, mainly for small mammals such as mice, rats, and rabbits, but also eats birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

It usually sits on a perch and waits for prey to come near, but it can also fly low over the ground in search of food.

The Barred Owl is common in eastern and central North America, and its range extends into Mexico. It adapts well to human-altered habitats and often nests in nest boxes provided for other birds.

This owl is considered a species of least concern by the IUCN. However, it is declining in some areas due to habitat loss and competition with the introduced Eurasian Collared-Dove.

The Barred Owl can live up to 20 years in the wild. In captivity, it has been known to live for over 30 years.

Barred Owl range map

American Barn Owl

American Barn Owls

The American Barn Owl is a medium-sized owl with a wingspan of about 43 inches. It has a white face and chest, and its back, wings, and tail are light brown.

The tips of its feathers are black, which gives the owl a “mottled” appearance.

The barn owl is nocturnal, meaning it hunts and feeds at night. It eats small mammals, such as mice, rats, and rabbits.

The barn owl is a very good hunter and can catch prey that is much larger than itself.

The barn owl lives in open areas near forests or farms. It nests in holes in trees, old buildings, or barns. The barn owl is a very common bird and can be found in most of the United States.

Barn Owl range map

Eastern Screech-Owl

eastern screech owl

The Eastern Screech-Owl is a small owl. Adults are about nine inches long and weigh four to eight ounces. They have large heads and yellow eyes.

Their wings are short, and they have long legs. These owls can be found in woodlands, farmlands, and even in cities.

Screech-Owls hunt at night. They eat small animals, such as rodents, insects, and other birds. They can also catch fish. These owls are very quiet and can sneak up on their prey without being noticed.

Eastern Screech-Owls are usually gray or brown in color. Some have streaks of red or orange on their chest. These owls can also change the color of their feathers to match the environment they are in.

Eastern Screech-Owls mate for life. The female lays two to six eggs in a nest made of sticks and leaves. She incubates the eggs for about three weeks. Both parents help care for the young owls.

Eastern Screech-Owls are common in Connecticut. They can be found in forests, parks, and other open areas. These owls are easy to spot because they are so small and quiet. If you hear a “screeching” noise at night, it may be an Eastern Screech-Owl.

Eastern Screech-Owl range map

Burrowing Owls

burrowing owls

The Burrowing Owl is a small owl typically found in open country and grasslands. They are unique in that they are the only North American owl to nest in holes in the ground, hence their common name.

They are also one of the smallest owls in North America, measuring about 12-13 inches in length.

Burrowing Owls are usually a pale brown or buff color, with dark spots on their wings and backs.

They have a characteristic white face and “eyebrows” that give them a distinct look. They are mostly nocturnal, but can also be seen out during the day if conditions are right.

Burrowing Owls eat mostly small mammals, such as mice and voles.

They will also eat insects, reptiles, and birds. they hunt by perching on a vantage point and watching for their prey to move below them. Then they swoop down and grab their prey with their sharp talons.

Burrowing Owl range map

Long-eared Owl

long-eared owls

The Long-eared Owl is a medium-sized owl with long ear tufts. They have a wingspan of about 43 inches and weigh around 12 ounces. The plumage is mostly brown, with white markings on the face and chest. These owls are nocturnal and hunt small mammals such as mice, voles, and rabbits. They nest in tree cavities and use their long, sharp claws to grip onto branches. In the winter, they often roost in large groups in trees.

Long-eared owls are found in forests across North America. In Connecticut, they are most commonly seen in the western part of the state.

Long-eared Owl range map

Snowy Owl

snowy owl

Snowy Owls are one of the most beautiful owls in North America. They have a wingspan of up to five feet and are mostly white with some black markings on their head and tail.

Snowy Owls live in tundra habitats in the Arctic, where they prey on small mammals such as lemmings. In winter, they sometimes move south into taiga or even temperate habitats in search of food.

In recent years, there have been several sightings of Snowy Owls in Connecticut. This is most likely due to the fact that their main food source, lemmings, is in decline in the Arctic. As a result, Snowy Owls are forced to travel farther south in search of food.

While it is exciting to see such a beautiful owl in our state, we must be careful not to disturb their natural habitat. Let’s all do our part to help protect these amazing creatures!

Snowy Owl range map

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern-Saw-whet Owl

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small owl that is found in North America. They are the smallest owl in Connecticut and have brown feathers with white spots. They have a round head and big eyes. These owls eat mostly insects, but will also eat small mammals like mice or shrews. They hunt at night and can be found in forests.

They are shy birds but if you leave them alone, they will stay to watch you. Be sure to keep an eye out for these special owls the next time you are outside at night.

Northern Saw-whet Owl range map

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared owls are found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, tundra, and forest edges. They hunt primarily from the air, using their excellent vision and hearing to locate prey. Short-eared owls eat a variety of small mammals, reptiles, and insects.

In Connecticut, short-eared owls are most often found in open habitats such as fields, meadows, and marshes. They nest on the ground, usually in a grassy area.

Short-eared owls are relatively uncommon in Connecticut, but they can be seen during the day or at night. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these owls, you’ll be able to enjoy watching it hunt and soar. Short-eared owls are truly a sight to behold!

Short-eared owls are one of the most widespread owl species in the world. They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

Though they are not currently considered threatened or endangered, short-eared owls are losing habitat due to development and other human activities.

You can help protect these owls by advocating for land conservation and being mindful of how you interact with their habitats.

Short-eared Owl range map

Related article: Types of Owls in Arkansas

Great Gray Owl

Great-Gray Owl

The Great Gray Owl is a large owl with a wingspan of up to five feet. It has a thick, fluffy body and long legs. The Great Gray Owl is the largest owl in North America.

The Great Gray Owl lives in forests near rivers and lakes. It hunts for small animals such as mice, voles, and shrews. The Great Gray Owl is a very good hunter. It can hear the footsteps of its prey from far away.

The Great Gray Owl is a beautiful bird. It has gray feathers with white spots. Its eyes are yellow. The Great Gray Owl is a very interesting bird to see in the wild.

Great Gray Owl range map

Boreal Owl

Boreal Owl

The Boreal Owl is a medium-sized owl that is found in the forests of North America. These owls are mainly brown with some white markings on their chest and have a round head with yellow eyes.

They are mostly nocturnal birds, meaning they hunt at night, and eat small mammals such as rodents, rabbits, and hares. Boreal Owls are very secretive birds and are difficult to spot in the wild.

They make a hooting noise that is often described as “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”

Boreal Owls are considered to be fairly common owls, but they are not often seen in Connecticut.

These owls prefer to live in boreal forests, which are found in northern regions of North America. Boreal Owls typically nest in trees and will use old nests of other birds such as hawks or crows.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a Boreal Owl in Connecticut, it’s likely that the bird is just passing through on its way to somewhere else.

Boreal Owl range map

Eastern Screech Owl

eastern screech owl

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl that is found in eastern North America. These owls are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. They have long, pointed wings and short tails. Their body color can be either gray or red, and they have a white “belly patch” on their stomachs.

Eastern Screech Owls are usually about 12 inches long, and they have a wingspan of about 24 inches. They weigh between five and eight ounces. These owls eat small rodents, birds, insects, and other invertebrates. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, marshes, and urban areas.

Eastern Screech Owls are very vocal birds. They make a variety of sounds, including whistles, trills, and hoots. These owls are monogamous, meaning they mate for life. The female Eastern Screech Owl lays two to four eggs in a nest made of sticks and leaves. The eggs hatch after about 28 days and the young owls leave the nest after about seven weeks.

Eastern Screech-Owl range map

What is the largest owl in Connecticut?

The great horned owl is the largest owl in Connecticut. It can weigh up to four pounds and have a wingspan of up to five feet. The great horned owl is a predator and it feeds on small mammals, reptiles, and birds. It hunts at night and uses its sharp talons and beak to kill its prey.

Where can I see owls in Connecticut?

Owls are one of the most popular bird species in North America, and they can be found in many different parts of the country. In Connecticut, there are several different owl species that can be spotted. Here are some of the best places to see owls in Connecticut:

  • The Litchfield Hills- This region is known for its rolling hills and forests, which are home to a variety of owl species. The Litchfield Hills is a great place to go owl spotting, especially in the winter when many of the owls are migrating.
  • The Housatonic River Valley- This area is known for its rocky cliffs and dense forests, which make it a perfect habitat for owls. The Housatonic River Valley is home to several different owl species, and it’s a great place to go owl spotting all year round.
  • The Connecticut River Valley- This region is known for its agricultural fields and forests, which are home to a variety of different owl species. The Connecticut River Valley is a great place to go owl spotting in the spring and summer when many of the owls are nesting.