- 14.2–17.7 in
- 28 in
- 8.5–16 oz
- Hawk Owl; Northern Hawk-Owl
- Chouette épervière (French)
- Lechuza gavilana (Spanish)
- The Northern Hawk Owl can detect prey by sight at a distance of up to 800 meters (half a mile).
- Though it is thought to detect prey primarily by sight, the Northern Hawk Owl can find and seize prey under 30 cm (1 foot) of snow.
- The oldest recorded Northern Hawk Owl was at least 5 years, 11 months old when it was found in Alberta, Canada.
Coniferous or mixed forests near open areas.
Mostly small mammals, especially voles. Also some birds, especially in winter.
- Clutch Size
- 3–13 eggs
- Egg Description
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless and covered in white down.
Nests in cavities, including old woodpecker nests, and hollow tops of broken tree trunks. No structure built.
Hunts by day or night. Perches on prominent treetops, detecting prey by sight. Also has keen hearing, and can take prey completely concealed by snow.
Northern Hawk Owl populations appear to be stable and there is no immediate known conservation concern. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 120,000 with 22% living in the U.S. and 28% in Canada. The rate a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and not listed in the 2014 State of the Birds Report.
- Duncan, J. R., and P. A. Duncan. 1998. Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula). In The Birds of North America, No. 356 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
- Partners in Flight. 2012. Species assessment database.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. Longevity records of North American Birds.