Best 20 Types of Owls Updated 2021

Types of owls

There are almost nineteen different types of owl species available in the marvelous land of America. These owl species range from the smallest owls species to the largest. Though one thing is obvious that owls are miracles of nature and they are present in huge diversity in nature

As we acknowledge the outstanding capabilities of owls like their fierce hunting techniques, their nocturnal nature, and distinctive hunting calls, yet we often forget to put a light on the dangers they face each day while surviving.

In the United states several owls species are becoming endangered or extinct due to the fear of habitat destruction, death due to the collisions with transport vehicles, and extensive use of pesticides destroying their number of prey.

Since 1990, an endangered owl species called  Northern spotted owl has been under strict supervision according to the Endangered Species act. 

Most owl species survive according to habitat, food availability and several other conditions. However, barn owls are very adaptive owl species and hence they have their global presence. Types of owls present in the U.S are :

  1. Barn owl
  2. Barred owl
  3. Boreal owl
  4. Burrowing owl
  5. Eastern-screech owl
  6. Elf owl
  7. Ferruginous pygmy owl
  8. Flammulated owl
  9. Great Gray owl
  10. Great horned owl
  11. Great gray owl
  12. Long-eared owl
  13. Northern Hawk owl
  14. Northern-pygmy owl
  15. Northern saw-whet owl
  16. Short eared owl
  17. Snowy owls
  18. Spotted owl
  19. Western screech owl
  20. Whiskered screech owl

Types of owls

As we all know that owls are amazing creatures with their irresistible skills of hunting, fantastic eyesight, and unimaginable anatomy. All these phenomenons make owls exotic animals. Bird enthusiasts are quite fond of knowing and exploring different kinds of birds, including owls as well; therefore, we have compiled this guideline so that you can explore, about “Different types of owls.”

There are almost nineteen different kinds of species of owls found in the U.S ranging from smallest to most giant owls. Some of the owls are so beautiful and mysterious, and it is hard to take your eyes off.

While we praise their beauty, their survival skills, and their mesmerizing eyesight, we ignore the dangers they face daily. Threats like accidents with automobiles, habitat destruction, and the introduction of harmful chemicals and pesticides in their habitat has already caused their population to decrease. 

Some species of owls may require specific requirements to meet for their survival, while others have evolved and developed amazing surviving capabilities like a Barn owl. Below is the list of all those owls that are native to the U. S. Also, owls are solitary birds, and it is hard to locate their breeding locations, making it challenging to collect the population data. Below are some species of owls that are found in the U. S overall.

  • Barn owl
  • Barred owl
  • Boreal owl
  • Burrowing owl
  • Eastern Screech-owl
  • Elf-owl
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-owl
  • Flammulated owl
  • Great gray owl
  • Great horned owl
  • Long-eared owl
  • Northern Hawk owl
  • Northern Saw-whet owl
  • Northern Pygmy-Owl
  • Short-eared owl
  • Snowy owls
  • Spotted owl
  • Western screech-owl
  • Whiskered screech-owl

Owl species

There are different types of owls, and each of them has a unique look

Some are super cute; some are mysterious, while others are scary. It is no doubt that owls are not like common birds. Even their morphology is not similar to most of the birds. They have stationary eyes that cannot move, to see right, left, and behind them, owls have to move their heads in the corresponding directions. If you want to know about owl’s eyes, you can tune into our article ” Owl eye color”. 

Their faces are also more round than other birds with no ear tufts. Below are the detailed types of owl explained, to quench your thirst about owls. 

Long-eared owl:

These are not too large and not too small birds; instead, they are medium-sized. Long-eared owls are those types of owls that prefer to hunt at dawn and dusk as they have orange eyes. These owls have an overall brown look with really long ears on the head, and they look similar to horns. Long-eared owls inhabit the continents of Asia, Europe, and Northern America. These owls mostly nest themselves and their babies in the nests of other birds like hawks, ravens, etc. 

Barn owl:

Barn owls are the type of owls that are nocturnal, and their darker color eyes predict their hunting behavior at night. These owls are famous for their heart-shaped face. Barn owls are the only species that inhabit most of the world’s continents compared to any other owl. In fact, even among all birds, these are the most common birds around the globe. Why? Because barn owls are incredibly adaptive and can survive in any kind of environment. Barn owls are also famous for many other names, for example, hissing owl, death owl, ghost owl, delicate owl, etc. 

Spectacled owl:

These owls inhabit the countries of Mexico, America, and some parts of South America too. These owls though, have yellow colored eyes, but they are not crepuscular; instead, they hunt at night. Spectacled owls rely on the smaller mammals for prey. However, they are also able to eat any creature that is larger than it. 

Oriented Bay owl:

These owls do not have the typical owl look, and instead, they have a very different look, mostly like bear-shaped. They are relatives of the barn owls and can be found inhabiting the continent of South-east Asia. However, Barn owls are called “true owls”. 

Eastern screech owl:

This is a rare type of owls. Eastern screech owls do not actually screech, and their name contradicts their personalities. They actually make a trembling call, also known as a tremolo call. They can be found in Canada, Mexico, Northern America. 

Snowy owl:

Snowy owls are the ideal type of owls out there. They are white with brown and black patches on wings and tails. Snowy owls have very bright-colored orange eyes that make them diurnal (hunting in the day). They are found majorly in the Arctic tundra of America, Europe, Asia, and they sometimes also visit Eastern seabirds of the U.S. Snowy owls are the large species of owls, and they are the heaviest among other types of owls.

Eurasian Eagle-Owl:

Eurasian Eagle owls are also huge owls even more massive than the snowy owl. Their wings can expand up to five to six feet. They are very ferocious predators, and they do not leave anything and prefer to munch on every kind of creature they found. Their prey ranges from small mammals to bigger snakes and even larger mammals like geese too. 

types of owls 22

Tawny owl:

Tawny owls can be easily found all over England. However, they are not commonly seen due to their solitary and nocturnal nature. Tawny owls have patchy bodies, and they usually have brown patches on their body; however, the base plumage is white. 

Great Gray owl:

Great gray owls are one of the tallest owls; however, they are not so heavy according to their size. They have round faces, long feathers, and long tails. They have yellow eyes and patchy bodies. 

Great horned owl:

You may have seen these owls idolizing other types of owls. Some farmers even use their models to scare off other predators. But why? There is a valid reason behind this. Great horned owls are so adaptive, and they prey upon almost anything that is crawling down there from rats to reptiles. Therefore they are used to scare them off. 

Kinds of owls

It is believed that there are two hundred and sixteen different types of owls found in the world. Eighteen species of owls belong to the owl species of ” Barn owls”, while the remaining owls fall under the category of typical or true owls( Strigidae). There are different kinds of owls:

  • Barn owl
  • Barred owl
  • Burrowing owl
  • Eagle owl
  • Elf owl
  • Great gray owl
  • Great horned owl
  • Long-eared owl
  • Northern Hawk owl
  • Saw-whet owl 
  • Short-eared owl
  • Snowy owl
  • Spectacled owl
  • Spotted owl

Small owl species 

There are some types of owls that are relatively smaller in size than other owls. Some of these owls include Little owl and Elf owl. 

Little owl

Little owls prefer to inhabit the places where the temperature is on the warmer side, for example, hot areas of Europe, Korea, Palearctic, and some areas of Northern Africa. 

This owl belongs to the family of “True owls” (Strigidae). Little owls are nocturnal, and according to their names, they are almost the size of ravens. These owls are stocky, and their habitat types are woodlands, farmlands, deserts, steppes, etc. The owl lives in cavities, and males, in addition to being solitary, are also territorial. These owls are widely spread in the world. 

Elf owl:

Elf owls belong to the smallest owls category. They are no bigger than a soda can still. They are amazing predators, and their small size does not cause any hindrance in their survival. These owls inhabit the areas of South-west America. 

Elf owls inhabit the holes mainly in Sycamore trees and are hardly six inches in length. They weigh almost equal to a golf ball. One thing that makes these owls prominent is their bright yellow eyes. Elf owls rely on spiders, insects, lizards, and rodents. They may eat large prey too like scorpions etc. 

Eagle owl species

Eurasian eagle-owls also known as “Eagle owls”. They belong to the species”Bubo”. This genus includes a total of eighteen different types of owls. They are called Eurasian because these owls inhabit the areas of “Eurasia”. Eagle owls are one of the giant owls, and the females can grow up to seventy-five centimeters while males are smaller than females. These owls have apparent horn-like ear tufts on their head that are brownish-gray in color. 

Their facial disk is not much prominent, and their face pops out with the presence of yellow eyes. Eurasian owls are also widely distributed all over the world. However, they are mostly found at heights like mountains, forests, steppes, etc. They are primarily nocturnal, and their diet includes small mammals, birds, different kinds of reptiles and amphibians, and fishes, etc. 

types of owls 33

Tufted owl species

Tufted owls, also known as long-eared owls, are medium-sized owls. They have long ear tufts in their heads. Tufted owls have patchy skin overall, giving them excellent camouflage in the wild environment. Their facial disks are not prominent and have elongated facial features. Their bills are small and black, and the eyes are yellow. 

Types of owls in Florida

There are five types of owls mainly found in Florida. Below is the list of all these five owls found in Florida:

  • Eastern-screech owl
  • Barn owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Burrowing owl
  • Barred owl

Types of owls in Texas

Everything about an owl is not healthy, they are unique and beautiful in their way. The types of os found in Texas are:

  1. Barred owl
  2. Elf owl
  3. Burrowing owl
  4. Great horned owl 
  5. Eastern screech owl
  6. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
  7. Western-screech owl
  8. Flammulated owl
  9. Long-eared owl or tuft owls
  10. Short-eared owl

Types of owls in Georgia

Georgia inhabits seven species of owls, and they are :

  • Great horned owls
  • Saw-whet owls
  • Long-eared owls
  • Barred owls
  • Barn owls
  • Eastern-screech owl
  • Short-eared owls

How many types of owls are there? 

Total species of owls known to the world are two hundred and twenty-five. Owls are further divided into two groups: 

  • Barn owls (Tytonidae family) 
  • Typical owl family (Strigidae family) 

How do I know what kind of owl I have? 

To identify what type of owl you have, follow these steps and read some information about the different types of owls.

  • See if your owl is large-sized or small-sized
  • Determine the eye-color of your owl
  • Determine the size of facial disks, wide or narrow. 
  • Size and the color of the bill
  • Colour of the owl’s plumage
  • See if your owl has ear tufts or not.

types of owls

What kinds of owls live in the United States? 

The following owls are majorly found in U. S:

  • Great Gray Owl
  • Great horned owl
  • Tuft or long-eared owls
  • Mountain Pygmy owl
  • Eastern-screech owl
  • Western-screech owls
  • Snowy owls
  • Barred owls
  • Barn owls

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