Boreal Owl

Aegolius funereus

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  • Boreal Owl |  Photo: Daniel A. Leifheit, NPS
  • Boreal Owl |  Photo: Daniel A. Leifheit, NPS by v8.6m

Boreal Owl Photo Gallery

Basic Information






Boreal Owls grow to about 8.25 to 11.25 inches in length.


up to 16 years


Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) facts, habitat, range, owl pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the bird of prey.


Boreal Owls primarily eat small mammals but will also feed on other birds and insects.


Aerial Dive


Northern North America - Pacific Northwest - Northern Rockies

Nest Placement


Number of Offspring

3-6 Eggs

Egg Description


Condition at Hatching

Feeble, eyes closed, white down covered

Social Status



21.5–24.5 in

What does the Boreal Owl look like?

Boreal Owls are small birds of prey. They have rounded heads, no ear tufts and a white facial disc that is outlined with black and pops with brilliant yellow eyes. Their upper bodies are a mottled brown and their under bodies are a dingy white streaked with brown. Juveniles are completely brown with the chest and belly a shade paler. They also have a white "X" on their face.

Boreal Owl Habitat


Boreal Owl Facts

Boreal Owls are small nocturnal birds of prey. This species exhibits the most reversed sexual dimorphism of any North American owl; meaning females are much larger than males. They locate their main prey, rodents, by sound. They can hear them through thick vegetation and even under deep snow. This is aided by asymmetrical ear openings on their heads, with one opening high on the skull and the other lower. Boreal Owls are generally monogamous but occasionally some tomfoolery occurs from both sexes. That tends to happen more often when mice are plentiful.

See also