• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Northern Hawk Owl


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of boreal forests, the Northern Hawk Owl is distinctive among owls for its morphology and behavior. In winters of food scarcity, it irrupts southward into southern Canada and the northern United States.


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized owl.
  • Long tapered tail.
  • Short pointed wings.
  • Face white, with black border.
  • Crown and forehead dark with many white spots.
  • Underparts white with heavy brown bars.

Immature Description

Similar to adult.

Range Map Help

Northern Hawk Owl Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp


    Northern Hawk Owl


    Northern Hawk Owl


    Northern Hawk Owl

    • © Raymond Lee, Sturgeon County, Alberta, Canada, November 2011

Similar Species

  • Long tail distinguishes Northern Hawk Owl from all other North American owls.
  • Head and body are broader than those of hawks.



    Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
    bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

    The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.