Did you know that there are 18 different types of owls that can be found in Utah? These beautiful creatures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each one has its own unique personality. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of owls that can be found in Utah, as well as some interesting facts about each one.
Most Common Owls in Utah
Mexican Spotted Owls
Mexican spotted owls are medium-sized owls with dark brown plumage, white spots on their wings and tails, and yellow eyes. They have a round head, a pointed beak, and large ears.
Mexican spotted owls inhabit coniferous forests in the western United States and Mexico. They prefer dense forest canopies with open understories, and they are often found near streams or other sources of water.
Mexican spotted owls are nocturnal birds that hunt for small mammals, reptiles, and insects. They typically perch on a branch and wait for their prey to come within reach before pouncing on it. Mexican spotted owls typically mate for life and produce one to three eggs per clutch.
The Mexican spotted owl is listed as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act. habitat loss and fragmentation are the biggest threats to these birds.
Logging, mining, fire suppression, and recreation activities can all destroy or degrade the forests that Mexican spotted owls need to survive.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect the habitat of these owls and help ensure their future survival.
Great Gray Owls
Great Gray Owl Scientific Name: Strix nebulosa
Great gray owls are the largest owl in North America. They have a wingspan of up to five feet, and they weigh between three and four pounds. Great gray owls are mostly gray with some brown markings. They have large eyes and a round head.
Great gray owls live in forests, but they can also be found in other habitats, including tundra and mountains. In Utah, they are most often found in the northern part of the state.
Great gray owls are mostly active at night, but they may also be seen hunting during the day.
Great gray owls eat small mammals, such as mice, rats, and rabbits. They also eat birds and insects.
Great gray owls usually hunt from a perch, but they can also swoop down on their prey. When they catch prey, they kill it by biting its neck. Great gray owls can live up to twenty years in the wild.
The Elf. Owl is a small owl that is found in the western United States. They are about six inches tall and have brown feathers with some white spots on their chest. They live in open areas such as deserts, prairies, and forests near rivers or lakes.
Elf. Owls hunt at night and eat mostly insects, but they will also eat small mammals, reptiles, and birds. They are very quiet owls and can be hard to see during the day. You can often find them perched on a tree or fence post waiting for their next meal.
Elf. Owls can be found in open areas such as deserts, prairies, and forests near rivers or lakes. They are very quiet owls and can be hard to see during the day. You can often find them perched on a tree or fence post waiting for their next meal.
Their diet consists of about 90% invertebrates, including beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and moths.
Elf. Owls are monogamous and mate for life. They typically lay two to four eggs per clutch. The female does most of the incubating, while the male brings her food. Both parents help care for the young owls until they are old enough to fly and hunt on their own.
The boreal owl is a small, stocky owl with short wings and a long tail. They have round heads, no ear tufts, and yellow eyes. The upper parts are gray-brown with darker barring, while the underparts are white with heavy streaking.
Boreal owls inhabit open forested areas in North America. In the winter, they move south into mountains and even into cities.
Boreal owls are mostly nocturnal, but can sometimes be seen hunting during the day. They perch on high branches or poles and swoop down to catch their prey. Their diet consists of small mammals such as voles, lemmings, and mice.
Boreal owls are relatively common in Utah and can be found in most parts of the state. If you’re lucky, you may even spot one in your backyard!
Western Screech Owl
The Western Screech Owl is a small owl. It has brown, gray, and white feathers. The owl has yellow eyes. It lives in the western United States and Mexico. The Western Screech Owl eats insects, rodents, and birds.
The Western Screech Owl is nocturnal. It sleeps during the day and hunts at night. The owl lives in trees or other places where it can roost. It makes a hooting noise to communicate with other owls.
The Western Screech Owl is a cavity nester. It nests in holes in trees or other cavities. The owl lays two to six eggs per clutch. The female incubates the eggs for 28 to 34 days. The young owls leave the nest after four to five weeks.
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
The Northern Saw-Whet Owl is a medium-sized owl with a wingspan of about 42 inches. They have a light brown body with darker streaks and white spots on their head and chest. They are named for the saw-like markings on their feathers.
Northern Saw-Whet Owls live in open woodlands, prairies, and meadows in the northern parts of North America. They hunt at night for small mammals, such as mice and voles. During the day, they roost in trees or on the ground.
Northern Saw-Whet Owls are active year-round. In the winter, they may migrate south to find food.
write about characteristics of Northern Pygmy-Owls. They are small owls with round heads and no ear tufts. Their upper parts are grayish brown, and their underparts are white with heavy brown streaks.
They have a black beak and yellow eyes. Northern Pygmy-Owls
in Utah live in coniferous forests. They nest in tree cavities, and their diet consists of insects and small rodents. Northern Pygmy-Owls in Utah are diurnal, which means they are active during the day.
They usually fly low to the ground and hunt from a perch. When threatened, they will dive-bomb their enemy.
Northern Pygmy-Owls are beneficial predators that help keep the population of small rodents in check.
Northern Pygmy-Owls are a common sight in Utah’s coniferous forests. They are small owls with round heads and no ear tufts. Their upper parts are grayish brown, and their underparts are white with heavy brown streaks.
They have a black beak and yellow eyes. Northern Pygmy-Owls in Utah live in coniferous forests.
They nest in tree cavities, and their diet consists of insects and small rodents. Northern Pygmy-Owls are diurnal, which means they are active during the day. They usually fly low to the ground and hunt from a perch.
When threatened, they will dive-bomb their enemy. Northern Pygmy-Owls are beneficial predators that help keep the population of small rodents in check.
Short eared owl scientific name: Asio flammeus
Short-eared owls are medium-sized raptors that have a wingspan of about 43 inches. They are brown in color with characteristic “ear” tufts on the top of their head.
These owls are usually nocturnal, but can also be seen during the day. They hunt for their prey, which includes small mammals and birds, by flying low over the ground in open habitats.
Short-eared owls typically nest on the ground in areas with dense vegetation.
The diet of a short-eared owl consists mainly of small mammals such as voles, lemmings, and mice. These owls will also eat small birds, reptiles, and insects.
In Utah, short-eared owls can be found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, marshes, and sagebrush flats. They are most common in the northern and eastern parts of the state.
Burrowing Owl Scientific Name: Athene cunicularia
Burrowing owls are small compared to most other owl species. Adults are about ten inches tall and have a wingspan of two feet. The females are generally larger than the males. These owls get their name from their habit of nesting and roosting in burrows.
They will also use the abandoned nests of other animals such as prairie dogs, ground squirrels, and badgers.
Burrowing owls are found in open habitats such as grasslands, deserts, and agricultural areas. In Utah, they are most commonly found in the northern part of the state. These owls are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.
They spend most of their time perched on a low perch such as a fence post or telephone wire, watching for prey.
Burrowing owl eats mostly small mammals such as mice, voles, and rabbits. They will also eat insects, lizards, and frogs. They usually catch their prey on the ground, but they will also hunt from their perch.
These owls can swallow their prey whole, head first. Burrowing owls are cavity nesters and will use abandoned animal burrows or holes in trees to nest in. The female lays four to six eggs and both parents help incubate them.
The young owls fledge, or leave the nest, at about seven weeks old.
Related post: Types of Owls in Oklahoma
Barn owls are one of the most common owl species in Utah. They are typically about 18 inches tall and have a wingspan of about 40 inches. They are light brown or white in color, with a heart-shaped face.
Barn owls live in open areas near forests, such as meadows, pastures, and agricultural fields. They prefer to roost in barns and other large buildings, but will also make nests in trees or cliffs.
Barn owls are nocturnal hunters. They eat a variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
They catch their prey by swooping down from a perch and grabbing it with their sharp talons.
American Barn Owl
The American Barn Owl is a medium-sized owl with a wingspan of about 43 inches. They are mostly white but have light brown markings on their heads and chests. Their eyes are orange or yellow, and they have a black beak.
Barn owls live in open areas like fields, marshes, deserts, and prairies. They hunt at night and eat small mammals like rats, mice, and rabbits. They also eat insects and other birds.
Barn owls are usually quiet owls, but they can make a loud screeching sound when they’re angry or excited. They mate for life, and the female builds the nest in a hollow tree or in a barn. The average clutch size is four to six eggs.
Barn owls in Utah are usually found in the eastern and southern parts of the state. They are considered a threatened species in Utah because their habitat is being destroyed by development.
Long-eared Owls are medium-sized owls with yellow eyes and a black beak. The male and female look similar, but the female is usually a little larger. These owls have long ear tufts that give them their name. They also have a streaked brown back with white spots and a light-colored belly with dark streaks.
Long-eared Owls live in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and meadows. They can be found in open areas as well, but they prefer to stay near trees or other covers. These owls are mostly nocturnal, but they can also be seen during the day if the weather is cloudy or overcast.
Long-eared Owls are relatively quiet owls, but they do make a few different sounds. One sound they make is a long, low hoot that can last for several seconds. They also make a short, sharp screech when they are alarmed or excited.
Long-eared Owls eat mostly small mammals, such as mice, rats, and voles. They will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects. These owls typically hunt from a perch, but they can also hover over the ground to find prey. They usually swallow their prey whole, but they will also break up larger prey into smaller pieces.
Great Horned Owls
Great Horned Owl Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus
The great horned owl is one of the most widespread and adaptable owls in North America. They can be found in a variety of habitats, from dense forests to open prairies.
Great horned owls are well-adapted for hunting prey that lives on the ground, such as rabbits, skunks, and raccoons. They are also known to eat birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
Great horned owls have large, powerful talons that they use to kill their prey. They also have excellent eyesight and hearing, which helps them to locate their prey even in low light conditions.
Great horned owls are mostly nocturnal creatures, although they may occasionally be seen hunting during the day.
Great horned owls are relatively large owls, with a wingspan of up to four feet. They are mostly brown in color, with some white and gray markings.
The name “horned owl” comes from the tufts of feathers on their head that resembles horns.
If you’re lucky enough to see a great horned owl in the wild, you can expect to hear a loud, deep hooting sound. These owls are also known for their “screeching” calls, which they use to communicate with each other.
The Flammulated Owl is a small owl with large eyes and no ear tufts. It is mottled brown above and whitish below, with dark streaks on the breast. The facial disc is brownish-gray, bordered by a thin, black line.
Flammulated Owls are found in the mountains of western North America, from southern British Columbia to central Mexico. In Utah, they are most commonly found in the northern and central parts of the state, including the Uinta Mountains.
These owls inhabit open coniferous forests and woodlands, as well as montane meadows.
Flammulated Owls are strictly nocturnal and feed mainly on small mammals, such as mice, voles, and shrews. They also eat some birds, insects, and reptiles.
Flammulated Owls typically capture prey by swooping down from a perch on a tree or other elevated spot. They sometimes fly low over the ground in open areas, searching for prey.
This owl is relatively quiet and usually silent except during the breeding season when it gives a series of soft hoots.
It breeds from late March to early May, laying one or two eggs in a nest made of bark strips and down, which is typically located in a tree cavity or nest box.
The young owls fledge (leave the nest) at about 30 days old and are independent soon after.
Snowy Owls are one of the most easily recognized birds in North America. They have a characteristic white plumage and large size that makes them easy to spot from a distance.
Snowy Owls occur in open habitats such as tundra, prairies, and agricultural fields. In winter, they often move south into more populated areas where they can be found hunting in fields and open areas near airports.
Snowy Owls eat mostly small mammals such as rodents and lemmings. They will also eat birds, fish, and insects.
Snowy owls are well-adapted to life in the Arctic tundra. They have thick feathers that insulate them against the cold and a plumage that provides excellent camouflage. Snowy owls are also very good hunters.
They have sharp eyesight and can hear prey moving under the snow from great distances. When hunting, snowy owls will perch on a high spot and watch for movement below.
They will then swoop down and catch their prey with their sharp talons.
Where can you see owls in Utah?
There are a few great places to see owls in Utah. One is the Timpanogos Cave National Monument, where you can often see barn owls perched on the cave walls. Another great place to see owls is at Antelope Island State Park, where there are several different owl species that live there. Finally, if you’re lucky, you might spot an owl in one of the many canyonlands or forests in Utah.
What kind of owls live in northern Utah?
There are four main types of owls that live in northern Utah: the great horned owl, the barn owl, the snowy owl, and the long-eared owl. Each type of owl has its own unique features and habitat preferences.