They can also be located in dark forest patches in the shade of deep, hanging canyon walls. The female sits on the eggs and cares for the young, while the male provides food for them. Normal clutch size is two eggs, but may reach four on rare occasions. The spotted owl is under pressure from habitat destruction throughout its range. In recent decades the … Spotted Owls are rare and difficult to find. The Northern Spotted Owl lives from northern California to British Columbia, and is the darkest brown with the smallest white spots. The head and hind neck have white spots, along with white mottling on the breast and abdomen. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. The lifespan of the spotted owl is about 10 years in the wild, and 15 to 20 years in captivity. These birds play an important role in the food chain of old growth forests. Like most nocturnal owls, your best bet is to find appropriate habitat (which differs among the three subspecies), and then patiently listen for their hooting calls during the night. Interesting facts about spotted owls • Northern spotted owl ( Strix occidentalis caurina) • Mexican spotted owl ( Strix occidentalis lucida) • California spotted owl ( Strix occidentalis occidentalis) Spotted owls can be found at elevations of 20 to 2,600 meters (70 to 8,500 feet). Spotted Owls are one of the few owls that have dark colored eyes. This large, brown-eyed owl lives in mature forests of the West, from the giant old growth of British Columbia and Washington, to California's oak woodlands and the steep canyons of the Southwest. When faced with more food than they can eat, Spotted Owls may cache prey in relatively cool niches such as moss-covered tree limbs, broken stumps, under fallen logs, or among moss-covered rocks. The spotted owl has an average length of 43 cm (17 in), wingspan of 114 cm (45 in), and weight of 600 g (1.3 lb). In the 1990s the Spotted Owl was catapulted into the spotlight over logging debates in the Pacific Northwest. • California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis). The most important food items for the Spotted Owl are flying squirrels and woodrats. Species taken most often are northern flying squirrels (which may comprise more than 30% of total prey), and several other species of squirrel, woodrats (the most common prey overall), deer mice, pocket gophers, voles, snowshoe hares, some species of birds, bats, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. The California Spotted Owl lives only in California, is lighter brown and has larger spots. Only around 1,700 pairs of spotted owls remain in the Pacific Northwest. In areas where woodrats make up the bulk of the diet, the owl has a smaller home range. Despite federal protection beginning in 1990, the owl is still declining in the Northwest owing to habitat loss, fragmentation, and competition with Barred Owls. Most owls have yellow to red … In many other cultures, owls represent wisdom and knowledge because their nocturnal vigilance is associated with that of the studious scholar or wise elder. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. The spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) is a species of owl. Besides ongoing habitat loss, Spotted Owls now face an additional threat. • Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) Fun Facts for Kids Spotted owls have blackish-brown eyes while most owls have yellow or red-orange eyes. • Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) They often hunt from a perch and swoop or pounce on prey, or may take arboreal prey from tree boles and limbs. An individual Spotted Owl may not breed every year. The species does not normally breed every year. Spotted Owls are found in several different habitats including humid, mixed coniferous forests, wooded ravines, and canyons. Besides ongoing habitat loss, Spotted Owls now face an additional threat. The owls depend on a healthy diverse ecosystem for survival. In recent decades the Barred Owl has expanded its range and begun competing with the Northern Spotted Owl. An owl that has just cached prey will sit upright, stare at the cached food, then slowly back away from it on foot, as if to fix the location in its mind. Although diet varies with location, the majority consists of a few mammalian species. Three subspecies of Spotted Owl are recognized. When young Spotted Owls do fly, their first flights can be awkward, involving clumsy landings or ending with a fluffy owlet hanging upside down until it can regain its perch. They are also located in Utah and central Colorado through Arizona‘s mountain ranges, New Mexico, extreme western Texas, and central Mexico. 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