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BOREAL OWL } Aegolius funereus

RANGE: Europe, Asia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and the Rocky Mountains in the United States

STATUS: Generally Boreal owls are classified as Secure, but may be Uncommon to Rare in some areas. The species may be Critically Imperiled in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, and is Imperiled in Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and Wyoming.

THREATS: Clear-cut logging, which reduces suitable foraging habitat

Boreal owls (boreal means “north”) do indeed love the North — or at least colder climes. Their world is a snowy one, located throughout the world’s northern forests. They live in coniferous and mixed deciduous boreal and sub-alpine old-growth forests and nest in old woodpecker cavities. They hunt quietly, sitting and waiting for their food, which they locate by sound beneath the snow or vegetation.  What falls under their talons? They prefer small mammals like voles, but dine on birds and insects, too. Clear-cut logging has reduced foraging habitat, not to mention nesting grounds, in some areas. The global Boreal owl population is about 220,000 birds.

Photo © Ann Cook