Burrowing Owls

Types of Owls in Wyoming (with Pictures)

We’ll give you a quick rundown of the most common owls you’ll encounter in Wyoming, complete with images and important data. Only reputable sources were used, and the information was double-checked with an Ornithologist.

Did you know that there are different types of owls in Wyoming? While many people think that all owls are the same, this is not the case. In fact, there are many different types of owls, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some owls live in forests, while others prefer to live in open fields. Some hunt during the day, while others hunt only at night. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the different types of owls that can be found in Wyoming!

Most Common Owls in Wyoming

Burrowing Owls

burrowing owls

Burrowing Owl Scientific name: Athene cunicularia 

Burrowing Owls are one of the most unique owl species in North America. They have long legs and long necks, which allows them to easily burrow into the ground to find prey.

Burrowing Owls live in open areas such as prairies, pastures, and agricultural fields. They can be found throughout Wyoming, but are most common in the western and southern parts of the state.

Burrowing Owls are nocturnal predators, meaning they hunt at night. Their diet consists mostly of small mammals such as voles, mice, and pocket gophers. They will also eat reptiles, insects, and birds.

Burrowing Owls typically mate for life, and the female will lay between three and six eggs in a scrape on the ground. The young owls will stay with their parents for several months after hatching.

Snowy Owl

snowy owl

Snowy Owl Scientific Name: Bubo scandiacus

Snowy Owls are one of the most recognizable owl species in North America. They have a distinctive white plumage that makes them easy to identify from a distance.

Snowy Owls inhabit open tundra and prairies in the Arctic region, as well as boreal forests in Canada and Alaska. In winter, they may migrate to other parts of North America, including the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.

Snowy Owls are known for their hunting behavior. They typically perch on a high point near open fields or water sources and scan the area for prey.

Snowy Owls eat a variety of small mammals, including lemmings, voles, and mice. In some areas, they may also eat birds, such as ptarmigans and ducks.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a Snowy Owl in the wild, you’ll be able to observe its unique behavior and characteristics up close. These magnificent birds are truly a sight to behold!

If you live in an area where Snowy Owls are known to migrate, keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful birds this winter. With their striking plumage, they’re sure to stand out in the snow!

Eastern Screech Owl

eastern screech owl

Eastern Screech Owl Scientific Name: Megascops asio

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl that can be found in eastern North America. They have brown and white feathers and are around nine inches tall. They are mostly nocturnal, meaning they hunt at night.

Eastern screech owls live in forested areas, where they can find plenty of prey to eat. They eat mainly small rodents, but will also eat insects, reptiles, and other birds.

Eastern screech owls are very vocal owls. They make a variety of calls, including a high-pitched whistle that gives them their name. They use these calls to communicate with each other as well as to warn predators away.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus 

The Great Horned Owl is the most common owl in North America. They are found in a variety of habitats, from forests to deserts. Great Horned Owls are mostly nocturnal, but can sometimes be seen during the day.

These owls eat a variety of prey, including rodents, rabbits, and snakes. Great Horned Owls are named for the tufts of feathers on their head, which resemble horns.

These owls are also sometimes called “tiger owls” because of their fierce hunting habits. Great Horned Owls are excellent hunters, and can even take down prey that is larger than they are.

These owls have sharp talons and beaks, which they use to kill their prey. Great Horned Owls are also very territorial, and will often attack other animals that enter their territory.

Great Horned Owls make excellent parents, and take care of their young until they are able to fend for themselves. These owls mate for life, and both the male and female help to raise the young.

Great Horned Owls typically have one to three chicks per nesting attempt. These owls are interesting and impressive animals and are a great addition to any birding trip.

Northern Saw-Wheat Owl

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

The Northern Saw-Wheat Owl is a large owl with a round head and no ear tufts. It has golden-brown eyes and a black beak. The owl’s back is brown with white spots, and its belly is white with brown streaks. Its wings are long and curved, and it has black talons.

The Northern Saw-Wheat Owl lives in forests, woodlands, and taigas. It hunts small mammals, such as voles, lemmings, mice, and shrews. The owl perches on a tree branch or stump and waits for its prey to come close.

Then it swoops down and catches the animal with its talons. The owl eats its prey whole, including the bones and fur.

The Northern Saw-Wheat Owl is a quiet owl that seldom vocalizes. When it does call, it makes a soft hooting sound.

This owl is monogamous and pairs for life. It builds a nest of sticks in a tree cavity or in a hole in the ground. The female lays up to five eggs, and both parents incubate and care for the young.

The Northern Saw-Wheat Owl is found in Alaska, Canada, and Wyoming. In Wyoming, it is only found in the northwest corner of the state. This owl is threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Great Gray Owl

Great-Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl Scientific Name: Strix nebulosa 

Although they are not the largest owl in North America, Great Gray Owls are still quite impressive. They have a wingspan of up to five feet, and their bodies can reach up to two feet in length. Females are generally larger than males.

Great Gray Owls get their name from their plumage, which is mostly gray. However, they also have some brown and white markings. Their faces are white with a dark ring around their eyes.

These owls live in forests, typically near wetlands. In Wyoming, you can find them in the Bighorn Basin and Yellowstone National Park. Great Gray Owls hunt during the day and night.

They primarily eat small mammals, such as voles, lemmings, and mice. But they will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects.

Great Gray Owls are vocal owls. They make a variety of sounds, including hoots, hisses, barks, and screams. Their calls can be quite haunting, which is fitting given their otherworldly appearance.

These owls are monogamous and mate for life. The female will lay between one and five eggs, which the male will incubate while the female hunts. After hatching, both parents will help to care for the young owlets.

Western Screech Owl

Western-Screech Owl

The Western Screech Owl is a small owl that can be found in western North America. They are gray or light brown in color and have a characteristic “screeching” call.

These owls live in open forest and woodland habitats, where they hunt for small rodents and other prey.

Western screech owls are generally nocturnal, but they may also be active during the day. These owls roost in trees or on ledges and often nest in cavities in trees.

The diet of a Western Screech Owl consists mainly of small mammals such as rodents and shrews. They will also eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Western screech owls are generally nocturnal, but they may also be active during the day. These owls roost in trees or on ledges and often nest in cavities in trees.

The diet of a Western Screech Owl consists mainly of small mammals such as rodents and shrews. They will also eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Barn Owl

barn owl

Barn Owl Scientific Name: Tyto furcata

The barn owl is a medium-sized, pale-colored owl with dark eyes. Its head is rounded and lacks ear tufts. This owl gets its name from its habit of roosting in old barns and other structures.

It has a wingspan of about three feet. The barn owl is found throughout the world in open habitats such as fields, grasslands, and forests.

The barn owl is nocturnal, meaning it is most active at night. It hunts by flying low over the ground and using its sharp eyesight and hearing to locate small mammals such as mice and voles.

The barn owl swallows its prey whole. It then regurgitates pellets of indigestible matter such as bones, fur, and feathers.

The barn owl is a common bird in Wyoming. It can be found in open habitats such as fields, grasslands, and forests. This owl hunts by flying low over the ground and using its sharp eyesight and hearing to locate small mammals such as mice and voles.

The barn owl swallows its prey whole and then regurgitates pellets of indigestible matter such as bones, fur, and feathers.

The barn owl is a common bird in Wyoming. It can be found in open habitats such as fields, grasslands, and forests.

This owl hunts by flying low over the ground and using its sharp eyesight and hearing to locate small mammals such as mice and voles.

The barn owl swallows its prey whole and then regurgitates pellets of indigestible matter such as bones, fur, and feathers.

The barn owl is a common bird in Wyoming. It can be found in open habitats such as fields, grasslands, and forests. This owl hunts by flying low over the ground and using its sharp eyesight and hearing to locate small mammals such as mice and voles.

The barn owl swallows its prey whole and then regurgitates pellets of indigestible matter such as bones, fur, and feathers.

Related post: Types of Owls in Utah

Long-eared Owl

long-eared owls

Long-eared Owls are found in many parts of North America, including Wyoming. They get their name from their long ear tufts, which help them to look like they have big ears.

These owls are mostly brown and white, with some dark streaks on their feathers. They have yellow eyes and a black beak.

Long-eared Owls live in open areas, like forests or fields. They nest in trees and sometimes use abandoned nests of other birds.

These owls are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. During the day, they roost on tree branches or in dense vegetation.

Long-eared Owls eat small mammals, like rodents or rabbits. They also eat birds, insects, and other small animals.

These owls can catch prey in flight or from a perch. They swallow their food whole, without chewing it first. Long-eared Owls are very quiet birds, and you can often hear them calling to each other at night.

American Barn Owl

American Barn Owls

The American Barn Owl is a medium-sized owl that is found in open habitats across North America.

They are easily recognized by their white, heart-shaped face and long, barred tail. These owls have brown feathers with lighter markings on their chest and belly.

Barn Owls prefer to live in areas with large trees and plenty of open space. In Wyoming, they can be found in fields and meadows near forests or mountains. American Barn Owls are nocturnal creatures and hunt for their food at night.

These owls primarily eat small mammals, such as mice and voles. They will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects if given the opportunity.

Barn Owls use their sharp talons to capture their prey and then tear it apart with their beaks.

Barn Owls are a common sight in Wyoming and can be easily spotted perched on a fence post or tree branch. They are known for their quiet demeanor and often go unnoticed by humans.

These owls play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to control populations of small mammals.

Flammulated Owl

flammulated owl

The Flammulated Owl is a small owl with big eyes and ear tufts. It has gray-brown upper parts and streaked, buffy underparts. The face is pale with brown streaks. This owl ranges from the southwestern United States to Costa Rica.

Flammulated Owls inhabit high-elevation conifer forests. They are nocturnal hunters, preying on small mammals and insects.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a Flammulated Owl, you’ll likely hear it before you see it. The owl’s call is a series of rapid hoots, often described as “hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooo.”

This is followed by a trill, which can sound like “hoo-hooooo.”

Flammulated Owls are monogamous and mate for life. The female typically lays two to four eggs in a nest made of twigs, bark strips, and mosses. Both the male and female help incubate the eggs and care for the young.

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owls are medium-sized owls with mottled brown plumage. They have a round head, large eyes, and a conspicuous facial disk. The ears are short and hidden in the feathers of the neck.

They have long legs and feet which are covered in feathers. The wings are broad and rounded. The tail is short and square.

Short-eared Owls are found in open habitats such as prairies, grasslands and tundra. They nest on the ground, often using abandoned nests of other birds.

The female lays a clutch of up to 12 eggs which hatch after about a month. The young owls fledge after about six weeks.

Short-eared Owls hunt during the day, often perching on fence posts or poles to scan the ground for prey.

Their diet consists of small mammals such as voles, lemmings, and mice. They may also take birds, reptiles, and insects.

Boreal Owl

Boreal Owl

Boreal Owl Scientific name: Aegolius funereus

The Boreal Owl is a medium-sized owl found in North America. They are the smallest owl in Wyoming and have brown plumage with white spots on their wings.

These owls live in coniferous forests and feed mainly on small mammals such as rodents.

They are generally shy birds but can be aggressive when defending their territory.

Boreal Owls mate for life and typically have between two and four chicks. The female will do most of the incubating, while the male brings her food.

The young owls fledge at about six weeks old and are independent within a few months.

Although they are not currently considered threatened, Boreal Owl populations have declined in recent years due to habitat loss.

These owls play an important role in the ecology of their forest habitats, and it is important to protect their habitat if we want them to continue to thrive.

Boreal Owls are medium-sized owls found in North America. They have brown plumage with white spots on their wings, and are the smallest owl in Wyoming.

Boreal Owls live in coniferous forests and feed mainly on small mammals such as rodents. They are generally shy birds, but can be aggressive when defending their territory.

Mating for life, Boreal Owls typically have between two and four chicks. The female does most of the incubating, while the male brings her food. The young owls fledge at about six weeks old and are independent within a few months.

Northern Pygmy-Owls

Northern-Pygmy Owls

Northern Pygmy-Owls are small owls with large heads and no ear tufts. They have yellow eyes and a grayish-brown body with white spots.

These owls are found in open woodlands, often near water. Northern Pygmy-Owls eat mostly insects, but will also eat rodents and other small animals.

Northern Pygmy-Owls are relatively silent, but when they do vocalize, it is a series of high-pitched hoots. These owls are also known to make a clicking noise with their beaks.

Northern Pygmy-Owls are active at night and during the day. They roost in trees or other sheltered spots during the day.

Northern Pygmy-Owls are found in Wyoming and throughout North America. They are a common species and are not considered threatened. These owls provide important ecological service by controlling populations of insects.

Northern Pygmy-Owls are fascinating creatures and make interesting study subjects. If you are lucky enough to see one in the wild, take the time to appreciate this amazing bird!

What is the largest owl in Wyoming?

The answer is the great horned owl! These magnificent birds are not only the largest owls in Wyoming, but they are also some of the largest owls in North America. Great horned owls can have a wingspan of up to five feet and weigh up to four pounds. These impressive predators are found throughout Wyoming and can be seen perched in trees or soaring overhead.

Are owls good to have around your house?

There is no definitive answer to this question as owls can be beneficial in some ways and harmful in others. For example, while owls provide pest control by eating rodents, they may also damage property or injure people if they feel threatened. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to have an owl around your house depends on your specific situation.

If you have a lot of rodents, for instance, an owl may be a good idea. However, if you have small children or pets, an owl may not be the best choice. Talk to your local wildlife experts to get more advice on this matter.