Boreal Owl

Aegolius funereus




Barn Owls, Typical Owls (Tytonidae & Strigidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

28 - 29

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

20 - 80 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

In tree cavity, usually a woodpecker hole with no lining.





Boreal Owl: Medium-sized owl with white-spotted, brown upperparts and thick brown-streaked, white underparts. Head is black with numerous small white spots, face is white, and eyes are yellow-orange. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has a dark face, arched white eyebrows, and dark brown underparts.

Range and Habitat

Boreal Owl: Found in forests of Canada and Alaska and upper-elevation mixed conifer forests of the western United States. Also found in Eurasia. Prefers mixed coniferous forest for breeding, especially spruce or fir mixed with aspen or birch, and old-growth forests with woodpecker cavities for nesting.

Breeding and Nesting

Boreal Owl: Two to six white eggs are laid in an old woodpecker hole or natural tree cavity; sometimes nests in artificial boxes. Incubation ranges from 28 to 29 days and is carried out by the female; male brings her food while on the nest.

Foraging and Feeding

Boreal Owl: Prey consists mainly of voles, lemmings, shrews, mice, and moles; occasionally takes small birds, squirrels, bats, frogs, and large beetles; hunts from low branch or tree trunk.


Boreal Owl: Call is a series of "poop" notes followed by a three to four second break, and then another series; number of notes and timing vary dependent upon individual.

Similar Species

Boreal Owl: Northern Saw-whet Owl is smaller, has black bill and red-brown on facial disk. All other owls in range are much larger.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X