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’.
Published on June 18th 2018 by Sudipto Chakrabarti under Coniferous Forest Animals.
Article was last reviewed on 5th December 2022.
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