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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Northern Hawk Owl

Surnia ulula ORDER: STRIGIFORMES FAMILY: STRIGIDAE

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.

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Appearance

Owls
Owls
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

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    Northern Hawk Owl

     
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    Northern Hawk Owl

     
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    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.