Category: owl

Whoo whoo’s ready for Halloween? As the sun sets and costumed candy hunters emerge, so will owls like this great horned owl @mypubliclands Marion Creek Campground in Alaska. Great horned owls are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their excellent night vision, acute hearing and silent flight makes them practically magical. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction, making them nature’s perfect, lovable creeper. Just remember: even when you’re not watching wildlife on public lands – they’re watching you. Muhaha! Happy Owloween! Photo by Kerry Howard (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Who else is looking at things extra closely today? April Fools Day is a hoot!

Eastern screech owl at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia by Graham McGeorge (www.sharetheexperience.org).

One adorable barred owl. Check. The Great Backyard Bird Count runs from February 15 – 19 and encourages everyone to take 15 minutes in your backyard – or on public lands– and count the birds. Owls often get an early start on nesting each year and they’ll begin incubating their eggs in February. In a few short weeks we can be on the lookout for chicks like this one. Photo by Mark Danaher, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

More often seen than heard, owls are amazing birds. 🦉 The eastern screech owl has some of the best camouflage – even the sharpest eye might not see it in the trees. It tends to roost in a hollow or in dense foliage near the trunk, and its colors range from gray to reddish brown. Its call is a long quivering whistle, so keep your ears open even if you can’t spot this owl. This one was photographed at New York and New Jersey’s Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to grassland birds, migrating waterfowl and wintering raptors. Photo courtesy of Herb Houghton.

Caught

You have to have sharp eyes to spot an eastern screech owl in the wild. 

Masters of disguise, screech owls nest in tree cavities, camouflaging themselves in their surroundings. This one was spotted at Georgia’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. So next time you visit public lands, be sure to look for hidden wildlife – you never know whoooo might be watching you. Photos by Graham McGeorge (www.sharetheexperience.org).

The night time hoots of owls can make the forest a little spooky, but the look of this young great horned owl is just terrifying. Though it’s covered in fluffy feathers, its dominant features are its huge yellow eyes and powerful talons. Soon, this owl at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado will learn how to fly and become one of nature’s most skilled hunters; feared by prey across the country. Photo by Carole Meeter (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Big dreams

A serious bird with a playful look, Northern Hawk Owls live year round in Alaska. Able to spot prey a half mile away, this skilled hunter can also seize small animals hiding under a foot of snow. This one at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is keeping his eyes on you. Photo by Lisa Hupp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


An owl family at Rocky Mountain National Park.


Barn owls by USFWS.


A parliament of baby burrowing owls by USFWS.

It’s International Owl Awareness Day, and we’re celebrating these majestic birds with awesome owl photos and facts!

With fluffy feathers, large eyes and dramatic facial expressions, these birds of prey have long been fan favorites. There are 150 species of owls worldwide and 19 that call North America home, providing plenty of opportunities to spot these birds on public lands or in your backyard.

While they may look adorable, owls are fierce hunters. These well-adapted predators are silent hunters with excellent eyesight and hearing, allowing them to soar through the night sky in search of prey. Some scientists estimate that a single owl can eat 2,000 rodents a year.

Be sure to check out more owl photos – they’re a real hoot! https://on.doi.gov/owls