Northern Hawk Owl

The Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) is medium in size, with an off-white colored facial disc with black rim on the edges and white eyebrows. Their bodies are dark grey to grayish brown with white spots on the head. They have what appear to be false eyes on the back of their heads and they have white to off-white spots on their dark grey backs. Their shoulders exhibit a white banding pattern. They have a very long tail, which helps them maneuver around the forests in which they hunt.

This owl is diurnal and is often found perching on treetops or posts that are uncovered.

The female often selects the nesting site, which is often cavities in tree trunks, abandoned woodpecker holes, and sometimes will use nests made of sticks from other birds. The female lays eggs in April and May. Usually between 5 and 13 eggs are laid and incubated by the female.

This owl inhabits Eurasia in Norway, Sweden and Finland, throughout Siberia extending east to North China. They also inhabit Central Asia and North America from eastern Alaska and in most of Canada. They live within boreal coniferous forests in lowlands (the area at the base of the mountain that is often lower in elevation) or mountains. They hunt mainly small mammals like voles, and also frogs and fish and sometimes fast-flying songbirds.