Hawking owl photo and description, what eats and where it lives


The hawk owl is far from a typical representative of his family. The facial disk is not clearly expressed, the ears are small, but the feathers on the ears of this owl are absent. Its size is also small. The female grows to forty four centimeters in length and weighing about 300 350 grams. But males, as is often the case in the wild, a little less than the female. Long they grow to forty two centimeters, and weighing up to three hundred grams. The wingspan of the hawk owl about 45 centimeters.

The color of the plumage is very similar to the color of the hawk. The back of the owl has a dark brown color with white spots, which form a V-shaped pattern on the back, but the abdomen and chest of owls are painted in a white-brown strip, which makes it so similar to the hawk. Eyes, beaks and paws are yellow, sharp claws are painted black. The tail is quite long, stepped.

The hawk owl prefers to sit at the very top of the trees. And in flight it is very often confused with the hawk several waves of wings, and then silent planning.


Ornithologists distinguish several subspecies of the hawk owl that live in the northern regions of North America (subspecies of North American). The rest live on the Eurasian continent. In Central Asia, including the territory of China (subspecies Surnia Ulula Tianschanica), and the entire European part with Siberia (subspecies Surnia Ulula Ulula).

As a rule, a hawk owl avoids dense forests. Basically, its habitat is coniferous open forests, or mixed open forests.

What eats

The hawk owl is endowed with excellent hearing and sharp vision, which makes it an excellent hunter. Easily immersed in the snow for prey. She is not a very typical representative of her family, since she leads a day lifestyle or twilight. Therefore, the diet in the hawk owl is quite diverse.

Basically, the owl feeds on rodents: fields, mice, lemmings, rats. It also prefers protein. But the diet of the American owl includes hares whites.

Also, an owl with a lack of rodents feeds on small mammals, such as ermine. Small birds, such as finches, partridges, sparrows, and sometimes grouse, can also enter the diet.

Natural enemies

Hawk owl predator, but nevertheless she has enough natural enemies.

The first and most frequent enemy includes a lack of nutrition. In the hungry years, when the number of rodents that make up the main diet, insufficient, die up to a quarter of all young animals.

The second enemy is mainly for chicks carnivorous zoophages. These are mainly raccoons, foxes and ferrets that attack the nest in the absence of parents.

And another enemy for this amazing bird is a person. Unauthorized hunting, the destruction of the usual habitat cause a sufficiently severe harm to the population of the hawk owl.

Interesting Facts

  1. The hawk owl, despite its small size, is a very brave bird. If any danger is threatened by the nest, then both parents are thrown to defend it. Moreover, the owl strikes with powerful and sharp claws, trying to get directly into the head of the offender.
  2. In honor of the hawk of the Owl, in 1911, the asteroid (714) of Ulula was named after.
  3. Residents of the Far East call the hawk owl the Far Eastern shaman. All because among the people there is a fairy tale about how a goose offended an owl. The owl from resentment took off to the very top of the tree straightened the wings, began to call for the aid of dark spirits for revenge. As a result, there was a saying: the time will come and the owl will remember that the goose offended her, begin to shaman and hoot throughout the taiga, the weather will come inclement weather and the molt of the goose.
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