This small, tree-dwelling owl has large, high facial disks and close-set eyes, which combine to give it a surprised expression. It is always found in pine forest, both in densely grown tracts and in more openly spaced fringes and clearings. Its flight is level with rapid wingbeats and straight glides, maneuvering with great skill between trees and branches. The Boreal Owl roosts by day in thick foliage in trees, and is active at night; it also hunts by day when it has nestlings to feed. Its diet consists mainly of voles and some mice, shrews, and small birds. The call is a rapid series of musical, cooing notes.

• DISTRIBUTION Breeds across N. Eurasia and in

N. North America, and from Wyoming to New Mexico. Some birds migrate south.


Plumage Scxcs aMkc

Habitat fff f,t f.

Migration p.mia| migrant

Family S'l RIGIOAE

Species [fjnox novtieserlantluie


Gray Piiasi-;

Southern Boobook

With a rounded head, prominent bill, and poorly defined facial disks, this species is typical of Australasian hawk-owls. Birds live in pairs but roost singly in thick foliage. I.ike most nocturnal owls, it is mobbed by songbirds if they find it by day. Living in any areas with trees, including suburbs and even towns, it feeds at night, eating mainly insects, and also mice, small birds, and other creatures. Its name is derived from its "boobook" call.


S. New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand.

Gray Piiasi-;

DISTRIBI tion small ear tufts

long wings

I .,ong-wingcd ami with short car tufts, this is an owl of open places, grassy plains, marshland, and dunes. In these treeless habitats it rests on the ground or perches on small mounds or posts, and roosts in sheltered hollows. On the wing it flics easily with regular, deliberate, deep wingbcats and slow glides, the wings forming a shallow V. It hunts in flight, often hovering briefly when it has sighted a victim. The owl seizes the prey in its feet and carries it elsewhere to be eaten. Mice and voles are the main food, but like most owls this species will take any animal, from insects to moorhens and hedgehogs.

• NliST A shallow hollow in the ground, made by the birds, cither in the open or in low eovcr such as heather.

• DlSTRIBl ITION Breeds in much of Eurasia, North America, and South America. Northern populations migrate as far south _ as Mcxico,

2f$k BT" Africa'

and India.

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