long-eared owls

Types of Owls in Kentucky (with Pictures)

We’ll show the most frequently observed owls in Kentucky, as well as photographs and important facts. Only reputable sources were used, and an Ornithologist verified the data.

There are many different types of owls that can be found in Kentucky. Some of the most common include the great horned owl, the barred owl, and the eastern screech owl. Each of these owls has its own unique characteristics and habits. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at each of these species of owls and learn more about their behavior and habitats.

Most Common Owls of Kentucky

Long-eared Owls

long-eared owl

The Long-eared Owl is a medium-sized owl with long ear tufts. They have brown plumage and are relatively easy to identify due to their characteristic ear tufts. They are found in open habitats such as meadows, prairies, farmland, and woodland edges.

Long-eared Owls are nocturnal and hunt small mammals, such as mice and voles. They are also known to eat insects and other invertebrates. They typically nest in tree cavities, but will also use abandoned buildings or platforms made of sticks.

Long-eared Owls are common in Kentucky and can be found throughout the state. They are a year-round resident and can be seen any time of the year. They are most active at night, but can sometimes be seen during the day.

Long-eared Owls are a beautiful owl species and are a common sight in Kentucky. They are easy to identify due to their long ear tufts, and they hunt small mammals such as mice and voles. If you’re lucky, you may even see one during the day!

Long-eared owls are relatively easy to identify in the wild due to their distinctively long ear tufts. These nocturnal predators are most often seen hunting small mammals such as mice and voles, but they will also eat insects and other invertebrates.

Barred Owl

barred owl

Barred Owl Scientific Name: Strix varia

The barred owl is a medium-sized raptor that is found in North America. They are gray with brown streaks and have white spots on their wings. Barred owls have a large head with yellow eyes and a black beak. They are mostly nocturnal, meaning they hunt at night.

Barred owls eat small mammals, such as mice and voles. They will also eat birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Barred owls are one of the few raptors that will eat skunks.

The barred owl is a monogamous bird, meaning they mate for life. The female will lay two to four eggs in a nest made of sticks. Both parents help to raise the young.

Barred owls are not considered to be endangered, but their numbers have been declining in some areas due to habitat loss. You can help barred owls by creating nesting and roosting habitat for them. You can also avoid using pesticides, as they can poison these birds.

American Barn Owl

American Barn Owls

The American Barn Owl is the most common owl in North America. They are usually light brown or white in color, with a heart-shaped face. They have large eyes and a distinctive “tuft” of feathers on their head. Barn Owls are nocturnal animals, meaning they hunt at night. They eat small mammals, such as mice and voles.

Barn Owls are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and even urban areas. In Kentucky, they are most often found in farmlands and open areas near woods. They nest in tree cavities, old barns, or other sheltered places.

If you’re lucky, you may see an American Barn Owl on a hike or nature walk. Be sure to keep your distance, as these owls are very shy and easily disturbed. Enjoy watching this beautiful bird from afar!

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls are medium-sized owls with a wingspan of about 40 inches. They have long tails and round heads. The upperparts are brownish-gray and the underparts are white with some dark streaking. They have yellow eyes and a black bill.

They are diurnal birds, meaning they are active during the day. They hunt by flying low over open fields and marshlands, looking for prey. Their diet consists of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Short-eared Owls are common in Kentucky and can be found in a variety of habitats including marshes, prairies, meadows, and agricultural lands. They are one of the few owl species that are still common in North America.

If you’re lucky enough to see a Short-eared Owl, you’ll be treated to a bird with unique plumage and hunting habits.

Related article: Types of Owls in Nevada

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Northern-Saw-whet Owl

The Northern Saw Whet Owl is a medium-sized owl with a wingspan of about 40 inches. This owl has mottled brown and white feathers, and its eyes are yellow. The Northern Saw Whet Owl is most active at night when it hunts for small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews. This owl sometimes hunts in the daytime, too. The Northern Saw Whet Owl nests in tree cavities or on ledges. It lays three to seven eggs at a time.

This owl is found in the forests of Canada and the United States. In Kentucky, it is most commonly found in the eastern part of the state. The Northern Saw-Wheat Owl is a protected species in Kentucky.

Snowy Owl

snowy owl

The Snowy Owl is a large, white owl of the typical owl family. snowy owls are native to arctic regions in the northern hemisphere.

Adults have white feathers all over, with some black bars on the leading edge of their wings. Male Snowy Owls tend to be almost entirely white, while females and juveniles usually have more flecks of black.

These owls are one of the heaviest members of their family, with males averaging about three pounds and females around four. They have large heads and yellow eyes. Their beak is black, as are their talons. Snowy Owls hunt during the day and night.

They eat a variety of small mammals, birds, and fish. Snowy Owls will also eat insects, carrion, and lemmings.

Snowy Owls are very territorial and will attack other owls or animals that come into their territory. They make a hooting noise to communicate with each other.

Snowy Owls mate for life and will generally have the same mate each year. They build their nests on the ground, in trees, or in old buildings.

The female Snowy Owl will lay between three and eleven eggs at a time. The eggs are incubated for about thirty days.

Eastern Screech-Owl

eastern screech owl

Eastern Screech Owl Scientific name: Megascops asio

The Eastern Screech-Owl is a medium-sized owl that is found in eastern North America. They are usually gray or light brown in color, with streaks of white and black on their heads. They have large eyes and distinctive “ear” tufts, which give them their name.

Eastern screech-owls are nocturnal birds, meaning they are most active at night. They hunt for small prey, such as insects, rodents, and reptiles. These owls roost during the day in trees or other sheltered areas.

If you’re lucky enough to see an Eastern Screech-Owl up close, you’ll notice that they have a very soft voice. They make a variety of hoots and whistles to communicate with each other, and can even mimic the calls of other animals.

Eastern screech-owls are considered common birds and can be found in many different habitats. They are well-adapted to living near humans, and can often be seen in parks and urban areas.

Eastern screech-owls are fascinating birds to watch and make great pets for those who are interested in birds of prey. If you’re lucky enough to see one in the wild, be sure to take some time to admire this beautiful owl!

Great Horned Owls

great horned owl

Great Horned Owl Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus

The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America, and it can be found in a variety of habitats. These owls are large birds, with a wingspan of up to five feet. They are mostly brown and white, with dark bars on their wings and tail. Great Horned Owls have large, round heads, and their eyes are orange-yellow. These owls are named for the tufts of feathers on their head, which look like horns.

Great Horned Owls are predators, and they hunt a variety of small animals. They have sharp claws and beaks that they use to kill their prey. Great Horned Owls are mostly active at night, but they can also be seen during the day.

If you see a Great Horned Owl, it is a good idea to stay away from it. These owls can be aggressive, and they have been known to attack humans. If you are lucky enough to hear a Great Horned Owl, you will know it by its deep hooting call.

Spotting Owls

Spotting owls in Kentucky can be a fun and exciting experience. There are several things you need to look for when trying to identify these birds of prey. Owls have many unique characteristics that make them stand out from other birds.

The first thing you should look for is the shape of the owl’s head. Owls have a very distinct head shape that is different from other birds. They have a large, round head with big eyes. Their ears are also located on the sides of their head, which helps them to hear prey better.

Another thing to look for when trying to spot an owl is its plumage. Owls typically have dark-colored feathers, which can make them difficult to see in the dark. They also have a distinct outline, which makes them easy to spot from a distance.

Owls are also known for their unique calls. They make different sounds depending on what type of owl it is. If you listen closely, you may be able to identify an owl by its call.

What is the largest owl in Kentucky?

The largest owl in Kentucky is the Great Horned Owl. This owl can have a wingspan of up to five feet!

What is the most common owl in Kentucky?

The most common owl in Kentucky is the Great Horned Owl. These owls can be found in a variety of habitats, and they are very adaptable birds.