Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Northern Hawk Owl

Northern Hawk Owl
 The northern hawk owl is an unusual owl that is found through out the boreal forests of the northern hemisphere. They are the only members of the genus Surnia in the world. There are three subspecies. Two subspecies are found in the forests of Europe and Asia and the third subspecies is found primarily in Alaska, Canada and parts of the northern United States. Northern hawk owls are unusual in that the are more diurnal, active during the day, then most other species of owls.
Northern Hawk Owl
Like most owls the northern hawk owl remains on its breeding grounds year round. The habitat that they prefer is boreal forest, which is primarily coniferous. There they hunt a variety of prey including small mammals and birds. Their primary prey are voles, which are a type of field mouse. They usually use their acute vision to find their prey, although during the inter they often use their hearing to locate prey burrowing under the snow. During some winters food is scarce, either due to a crash in the prey species or an over abundance of owls raised that year, and the owls head south in search of prey. This is usually the time that we see these birds, most of which are immature birds who have just left their parents territory. These birds were photographed at the Sax Zim Bog in northern Minnesota.


AmitAag said...


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Brilliant bird shots. very interesting owl

Roger Owen Green said...

in flight, a little scary!

SamuraiFrog said...


Janet Shaw said...