Boreal owls are small owls found throughout the Holarctic region. They are members of the typical owls group, as opposed to the barn owl grouping.
|Scientific Name||Aegolius funereus|
|Also known as||Tengmalm’s owl, Richardson’s owl|
|Description||Size: 8.7-10.6 in (22-27 cm) in length
Weight: 3.3-7.6 oz (93-215 g)
Wingspan: 20-24 in (50-62 cm)
Color: Brown on the top with white spots on the shoulders; the underparts are whitish with streaks of rust; the eyes are yellow and the beak is light yellow; juveniles are chocolate brown
Sexual Dimorphism: Females much larger than males
|Distribution & Subspecies||
|Habitat||Lives in the taiga forests|
|Sounds & Calls||A short ‘kew’ or ‘kip’|
|Diet||Voles, mice, squirrels, pocket gophers, shrews, small birds, and insects|
|Predators||Pine martens, larger owls and other raptors|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- These birds are not social and spend their time by themselves even during the breeding season.
- They are nocturnal, being active during the night.
- They are not known to migrate, but sometimes do move south during fall.
- Boreal owls make their nests in tree cavities made by woodpeckers.
- When hunting, they perch on low branches locating prey; once located, they glide down to the ground and catch the prey with their talons.
Mating & Reproduction
Males start to sing to attract females around late winter and the beginning of spring. Courtship involves the male bringing food for the female. Clutches consist of 3-6 eggs which are incubated for 26-32 days.
Hatchlings are blind and covered in down. The female stays with them while the male brings them food. The juveniles become able to leave the nest around a month after hatching. They reach sexual maturity after about 9 months of age.
- These are one of the most elusive and secretive birds.
- The genus name, Aegolius, means bad omen while the binomial name funereus means ‘funeral’.