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Northern Hawk Owl
A Reference for North and Central American Owls

 The Northern Hawk Owl is a very "high latitude" owl that is found around the world in the northern hemisphere. It is a diurnal owl (active in the daytime) and very bold. Here you will find photos, recordings and a brief field notes section to help identify and enjoy this beautiful owl. A more in depth write up and range map can be found in its natural history page (the Biology link). To jump immediately to any of these sections use the Page Jump Links below.

Page Jump Links:
Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery - New 2004/2005 Northern Hawk Owl invasion
Audio Recordings
Field Notes
Biology

 

PHOTO GALLERY
Click on the thumbnail to bring up each of the Owl photos.

Northern Hawk Owl Photo

72K

Northern Hawk Owl Photo

41K

Northern Hawk Owl Photo

50K

Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2000

Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2000
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2000

Northern Hawk Owl Photo

61K

Northern Hawk Owlet Photo

66K

Northern Hawk Owl Photo

82K
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2000
Denali National Park,
 Alaska
August 1981
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2000

RECORDINGS
Click on the sonograms to bring up each of the recordings.

Sound File
45K
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
February 2001

Sound File
52K
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2000

Sound File
51K
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada
March 2001

A pair of owls, very excited, "talking" to
each other. This is a male/female pair.

This is the, most frequently heard, common display call of the male

This is an alarm call that may be repeated at a fairly regular interval for an extended period when the owl is disturbed.

FIELD NOTES
Northern Hawk Owl - Surnia ulula

 The Northern Hawk Owl is not likely to be confused with any other owl. This is one of the most diurnal owls. The distinctly Hawk-like or Falcon-like owl is usually seen perched in a high vantage point, tree limb or even telephone pole, scanning for prey. This is a very bold, almost tame, owl that seems focused on prey and some times may be approached very close with little obvious fear or concern of people. The sexes are alike in appearance although male and female can be distinguished by voice. The bill is yellow, the iris of the eyes are lemon yellow, and the length is 16" (about the size of a Prairie Falcon). The relatively long tail, whitish facial disk outlined with black, white spotted back and head, heavily brown barred whitish chest and falcon shape are the identifying markings for this northern owl. Deep brown back deepens to black at the nape and head. Heavily white spotting become smaller and more numerous from the nape around to the forehead.

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