Northern Spotted Owl

(Strix occidentalis caurina)

In Oregon the northern spotted owl inhabits the older coniferous forests of the Coast Range, Klamath Mountains, Willamette Valley, West Cascades and East Cascades.

The northern spotted owl ranks among the largest owl species in North America, averaging 18.5 to 19 inches in height. It is dark-to-chestnut brown in color and sports round white spots on its head, neck, chest and back. Its flight feathers are also dark brown and barred with light brown or white.

Diet and habitat
Primarily nocturnal hunters, they eat flying squirrels and woodrats, and will occasionally take bats and other owls. They require tree cavities, broken-topped trees or nests built by raptors or squirrels as high as 200 feet above the ground for nesting.

Predators and threats
It is preyed upon by great horned owls, barred owls and northern goshawks. Squirrels, other rodents and jays feed on their eggs. The barred owl and loss of habitat pose the greatest risk to this species.

It begins breeding in March and produces a clutch size of one to three eggs that are incubated by the female. The male remains close by to supply the female with food. Chicks fledge at about six weeks of age.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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