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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.