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Boreal Owl

From Opus

Photo © by Kevin J PurcellBias Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, April 2004
Photo © by Kevin J Purcell
Bias Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, April 2004

Alternative name: Tengmalm's Owl

Aegolius funereus


[edit] Identification

The Boreal Owl is 22-27 cm long with a 50-62 cm wingspan.
It is brown above, with white flecking on the shoulders. Below it is whitish streaked brown. The head is large, with yellow eyes and a white facial disc, and a "surprised" appearance.
Young birds are chocolate brown.

[edit] Distribution

This bird breeds across northern North America and Eurasia, and in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Rockies.

This species is not normally migratory, but in some autumns significant numbers move further south. It is rare any great distance south of its breeding range, although this is partly due to the problems of detecting this nocturnal owl outside the breeding season when it is not calling.

[edit] Taxonomy

This small owl is known as Tengmalm's Owl in Europe after the Swedish naturalist Peter Gustaf Tengmalm.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl.

[edit] Subspecies

There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • A. f. funereus :
  • Northern Scandinavia to PyrĂ©nĂ©es and Urals (except for Caucasus Mountains)
  • A. f. caucasicus:
  • Northern Caucasus Mountains
  • A. f. pallens:
  • A. f. magnus:
  • North-eastern Siberia (Kolyma to Kamchatka Peninsula)
  • A. f. beickianus:
  • Extreme north-western India (Lahul) to south-western China (Qinghai)
  • A. f. richardsoni:

[edit] Habitat

Dense coniferous forests.

[edit] Behaviour

It is largely nocturnal.

[edit] Flight

The flight is strong and direct.

[edit] Diet

This smallish owl eats mainly voles and other mammals but also birds as well as insects and other invertebrates.

[edit] Breeding

It lays 3-6 eggs in a tree cavity.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from

[edit] External Links


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