The Boreal Owl, scientific name Aegolius funereus, is a fascinating bird species from the Strigidae family. It is also called “Tengmalm’s Owl” after its Swedish discoverer Peter Gustaf Tengmalm. This small-sized owl has unique physical characteristics that make it easily recognizable.
The Boreal Owl measures around 24 cm in length and weighs approximately 100 grams. It features striking yellow eyes with black rings surrounded by white facial discs. Its body plumage ranges from dark brown to gray-brown while its underparts have whitish or pale buff streaks. The bird has long ear-tufts standing upright on top of its head, making it distinctive compared to other owl species.
Where To Find This Bird
Boreal Owls are widespread throughout North America and Eurasia but can be difficult to spot because they are nocturnal birds that prefer living in remote boreal forests with dense coniferous trees such as spruce, fir, and pine.
These owls nest mainly in tree cavities or abandoned woodpecker holes across their range between January and March before migrating south for the winter months when food becomes scarce. They do not build nests since they prefer using natural shelters like hollow trees or even old squirrel dens as breeding sites.
Boreal Owls primarily feed on small mammals including rodents like voles, lemmings, shrews, hares along with insects such as moths and beetles which constitute a major part of their diet.
The Boreal Owl has some cool facts associated with it:
– These owls have acute hearing abilities that enable them to locate prey even through thick snow cover.
– The young chicks can produce an interesting defensive sound similar to barking dogs when threatened by predators.
– Despite being night hunters, these birds may hunt during the day in areas where their prey is plentiful.
– Boreal Owls are monogamous birds, and they mate for life.
In conclusion, the Boreal Owl is an intriguing bird species with unique physical characteristics. Although challenging to spot due to their nocturnal lifestyle, these owls can be found in boreal forests throughout North America and Eurasia. They primarily feed on small mammals like rodents while making use of natural tree cavities as breeding sites during the nesting period. With their exceptional hearing abilities, these magnificent creatures have adapted well to survive in their natural habitat even during winters when food resources might be limited.