barred owl

Types of Owls in Ohio (with Pictures)

If you’re an owl lover, Ohio is the place for you! With over 15 different species of owls, Ohio is a great place to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of owls that can be found in Ohio. We’ll provide pictures and information on each type of owl, so that you can start spotting them yourself!

Only trustworthy sources and observations were used, and an Ornithologist was consulted to verify the data.

Most Common Owls in Ohio

American Barn Owls

American Barn Owl

The American Barn Owl is a medium-sized owl with a round head and no ear tufts. It has a white face with black eyes and a dark brown body with white spots. The wings are long and rounded. The tail is short and square.

The legs are long and the feet are feathered. This owl roosts in trees and hunts over open fields. It eats small mammals, reptiles, and birds. The American Barn Owl is found in North and South America.

The American Barn Owl is mostly active at night. It roosts during the day in trees, barns, and other sheltered places. This owl nests in tree cavities, old buildings, and nest boxes. It lays three to six white eggs.

The young owls leave the nest at about seven weeks of age. The American Barn Owl can live up to ten years in the wild.

barred owl

Barred Owls

The Barred Owl is a large owl with a round head and no ear tufts. It has dark eyes and a yellow bill. The upperparts are grayish-brown, and the underparts are pale with brown bars. The wings are long and rounded. The tail is short and square.

The Barred Owl is found in forests in eastern North America. It is a non-migratory bird.

The Barred Owl is nocturnal, meaning it is most active at night. It roosts during the day in trees, often near the trunk in dense foliage. It hunts at night, using its excellent hearing to locate prey. The Barred Owl eats small mammals, reptiles, and birds.

The Barred Owl is a relatively sedentary bird. It does not move around much, even when hunting. When roosting, it often perches on the same branch for days or weeks at a time.

The Barred Owl is a monogamous bird. It mates for life and usually nests in the same area year after year. The female lays two to four eggs in a nest made of sticks, bark, leaves, and moss. She incubates the eggs for about 28 days. The young owls leave the nest at about six weeks of age but are not able to fly well until they are about three months old.

The Barred Owl has a lifespan of up to 20 years in the wild. In captivity, it can live even longer.

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared owls are medium-sized owls with large, round heads and no ear tufts. They have yellow eyes and a dark facial disk with a white “eyebrow.” The upperparts are brown mottled with buff and the underparts are pale buff streaked with brown.

Short-eared owls fly low over the ground with a slow, flapping flight interspersed with glides. When hunting, they may be seen running on the ground after prey.

These owls typically nest on the ground in open areas such as fields and meadows. Short-eared owls are found in Ohio during the winter months. They can be seen roosting in trees during the day or hunting for rodents in fields at dusk. Short-eared owls are relatively uncommon and their numbers have declined in recent years.

long-eared owls

Long-eared Owl

The long-eared owl (Asio otus) is a medium-sized owl with large ear tufts. It has yellow eyes and a brownish body with white streaks. The underparts are light with heavy dark streaks. The wings are rounded and the tail is short. This owl hunts at night and perches in trees during the day. It eats small mammals and sometimes birds. The long-eared owl is found in woods in Ohio. It nests in trees and lays three to five eggs.

The long-eared owls are a fairly common owls in Ohio. It is found in woods throughout the state. This owl is active at night and perches in trees during the day. It hunts small mammals and sometimes birds. The long-eared owl nests in trees and lays three to five eggs.

If you see an owl in Ohio, it is likely a long-eared owl.

snowy owl

Snowy Owl

The snowy owl is a large, white owl of the true owl family. Snowy owls are native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia. These birds are easy to identify due to their size and coloring. The female is larger than the male, with a wingspan of up to 60 inches. Males typically have a wingspan of 53 inches.

Snowy owls are almost entirely white, with some dark bars on the upper wings. The head is round and lacks ear tufts. Yellow eyes and a black beak complete the striking facial disc. In flight, the snowy owl’s long, broad wings give it a slow, powerful flap followed by a glide.

On the ground, this owl can walk and run. Snowy owls hunt during the day and night. Their diet consists of small mammals such as lemmings, voles, and mice. These birds will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects.

Snowy owls are found in open tundra or taiga habitats. In North America, they nest on the ground in the Arctic tundra. In Eurasia, they nest on cliffs or in trees. During the winter months, some snowy owls will migrate south.

The snowy owl is a beautiful and intriguing bird.

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small owl that is found in North America. These owls are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Saw-whet owls are one of the smallest owl species in North America and have a body length of about seven to eight inches.

Adults have brown and white feathers, and their eyes are yellow. Juvenile saw-whet owls have grayish-brown feathers.

Saw-whet owls are mostly found in coniferous forests, but they can also be found in mixed forests and deciduous forests. These owls hunt small mammals such as mice, shrews, and voles. Saw-whet owls use their sharp talons to kill their prey.

During the breeding season, saw-whet owls are monogamous, meaning they mate with only one partner. The female owl lays two to six eggs in a nest made of leaves and twigs.

Both the male and female help to incubate the eggs, and the young owls fledge, or leave the nest, after about four weeks.

eastern screech owl

Eastern Screech-Owls

The Eastern Screech-Owl is a small owl, measuring only about eight inches in length. Its body is slender and its head is round. The owl’s eyes are large and yellow, and it has tufts of feathers on the sides of its head that resemble ears.

The Eastern Screech-Owl’s plumage is gray or brown, and it is sometimes difficult to see against the bark of trees.

The Eastern Screech-Owl is found in wooded areas throughout eastern North America. In Ohio, the owl can be found in both rural and urban areas. The owl hunts at night, preying on small mammals such as mice and voles.

Eastern Screech-Owls will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects.

The owl nests in tree cavities, using sticks and leaves to build a nest cup. The female lays two to six eggs, which hatch after about three weeks. Both parents help to care for the young owls until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

barn owl

Related article: Types of Owls in Minnesota

Barn Owls

The Barn Owl is one of the most common owls in Ohio, and it is also one of the most easily recognized. These birds are large and stocky, with a round head and no ear tufts. Their plumage is mostly white, with some dark brown or gray streaks on the back and wings.

The facial disc surrounding the Barn Owl’s yellow eyes is also streaked with brown, and the bird has a white chin and throat. In flight, Barn Owls hold their wings in a distinct V-shape.

Behaviorally, Barn Owls are nocturnal hunters. They use their sharp vision and hearing to locate small mammals such as mice and voles in the dark. Once they’ve spotted their prey, they will swoop down and snatch it up with their talons. Barn Owls will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects if given the opportunity.

These owls roost in trees or on ledges during the day, and they nest in cavities in tree trunks or cliffs. Barn Owls are solitary birds, but they will sometimes form small groups when hunting.

If you see a Barn Owl in Ohio, it is likely that you will hear it before you see it. These owls hoot softly to communicate with each other, but their primary call is a loud, harsh screech.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in Ohio, and is easily recognizable with its large size and “horned” facial tufts. These Owls are nocturnal predators, hunting small mammals and birds.

They are often seen perching on tree branches or flying low over fields in search of prey. Great Horned Owls are most active at dawn and dusk, but can also be seen hunting during the day.

During the breeding season, these owls will often hoot to announce their territory. Nesting usually occurs in hollow trees or on cliff ledges, and both parents help to raise the young.

Why are there owls in my backyard?

One reason you might see an owl in your backyard is that Ohio is home to several different species of these birds. Coniferous forests are a favorite habitat of many owls, but they can also be found in mixed forests and deciduous forests.

How do you attract owls in Ohio?

Owls are attracted to areas with dense vegetation and plenty of trees. If you live in a rural area, you can create a habitat that is attractive to owls by planting native trees and shrubs. You can also put up nesting boxes for owls in your yard.

What is the most common owl in Ohio?

The most common owl in Ohio is the Eastern Screech-Owl. These owls are small, with gray or brown plumage and yellow eyes. They can be found in both rural and urban areas, and hunt at night for small mammals such as mice and voles.