Northern spotted owl close-up U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, John and Karen Hollingsworth
Northern spotted owls usually live in old growth forests of northern California and the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and in southern parts of British Columbia, Canada. They are brown with white speckles. They have black eyes, unlike most owls. Usually they are about 18 inches tall, with a wingspan of 18 inches.
The northern spotted owl is primarily nocturnal. Its diet consists mainly of wood rats and flying squirrels, although it will also eat other small mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. Males and females both hunt, except during nesting, when males do most of the hunting. They can catch prey on the ground and in flight. Northern spotted owls are very territorial and do not handle habitat disturbance well. They prefer old-growth forests with tree canopies that are high and open enough for the owls to fly between and underneath the trees.
Because of its preference for old-growth forests, it is affected by clear-cut logging. The northern spotted owl is considered Endangered in Canada and Threatened in the United States. As a result of declining habitat, there are fewer than 100 pairs of Northern spotted owls in British Columbia, Canada, 1,200 pairs in Oregon, 560 pairs in northern California and 500 pairs in the state of Washington.
Northern spotted owl U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, John and Karen Hollingsworth
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