Backyard BirdsUncategorized

Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula)

The Northern Hawk Owls (Surnia ulula) is a medium sized owl. The term “hawk” refers to its falcon-like wing shape and long tail. It is the only species in the genus Surnia. The species is sometimes called simply the Hawk Owl; however, many species of owls in the Ninox genus are also called hawk owls.

The Northern Hawk Owls bird is 35-43 cm long with a 69-82 cm wingspan. It has a rounded head with yellow eyes, dark brown upperparts and barred underparts, and a tail.

The song is a bubbling lulululululullululul.

It is found in the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, usually on the edges of more open woodland. This bird nests in large tree cavities or uses nests abandoned by other large birds. It has little fear of humans and will attack if the young are approached too closely.

This is a partially diurnal owl (active during daytime), which hunts voles and birds like thrushes. It waits on a perch and takes advantage of its rapid flight to overtake prey. The Hawk Owl has exceptional hearing and can plunge into snow to capture rodents below the surface.

It is not migratory but occasionally irrupts south of its breeding range.

More Owl Information

 
 
 

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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