Northern Hawk Owl

Northern Hawk Owl

Northern Hawk Owl
(Surnia ulula)

Order:  Strigiformes
Family:  Strigidae


Photo by Bram Keurs [CC 3.0]

Northern Hawk Owl Information

Length:  14 - 17"

Habitat:  Coniferous or mixed forests, forest edges, forest clearings. Edges of burned-over areas, clear-cuts, and open bogs. Prefers habitat near open areas for hunting.

Diet:  Small mammals such as mice, lemmings, voles, squirrels, and hares; birds up to the size of grouse; some insects.

  Song and calls of the Northern Hawk Owl

Additional Information

Northern Hawk Owl
Description, vocalization, distribution, habitat, breeding, diet, and conservation status. Includes photos and range map. (From Wikipedia)

Northern Hawk Owl

Northern Hawk Owl

Photo © Robert Royse

Northern Hawk Owl
Identification Tips

  • Wingspan: 33 inches
  • Diurnal, predatory bird
  • Large, rounded head
  • Yellow eyes
  • Pale facial disks with dark border
  • Dark brown upperparts with white spots
  • Dark barring on underparts
  • Long, barred tail
  • Sexes similar

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Northern Hawk Owl
Year-round range

The Northern Hawk Owl is found year round in many parts of Canada and in all but northern and coastal Alaska.

This owl is found rarely and irregularly in New England. It wanders south to this area when prey is scarce in its normal range. There tend to be more of these sightings in northern New England than in the southern part of this region.

Northern Hawk Owl
Range Maps from Cornell

Northern Hawk Owl year-round range

Includes separate map of sightings. By zooming in on this sightings map, one can see the areas where this owl has been spotted in New England.