The Flammulated Owl was once considered rare, but improved census techniques revealed that it is actually quite common. Some consider it the most abundant owl of western pine forests.
The monotonous flat toot of the Flammulated Owl can be difficult to locate. The softness of the call, together with the gradual beginning and end make its direction hard to detect. In addition, when the owl detects a person, it sings even more softly, making it sound as if the owl is far away.
Although most small owls eat insects, they also usually eat mice, shrews, and other small vertebrates. The Flammulated Owl eats very few vertebrates at all, and subsists nearly entirely on insects, especially crickets, moths, and beetles. Perhaps this diet is the reason that few Flammulated Owls remain in northern areas over the winter.
The oldest recorded Flammulated Owl was at least 7 years, 1 month old when it was recaptured and relreleased during banding operations in Colorado in 1988. It had been banded in the same state in 1981.