|Owls in Illinois||Length||Weight||Identification(Color)||Diet/Favorite Food|
|Barn Owl||12.6-15.8 in (32-40 cm)||14.1-24.7 oz (400-700 g)||This owl has an overall pale color with dark eyes. They have white on the face, body, and underwings.||They mostly feed on rodents.|
|Eastern-screech Owl||6.3-9.8 in (16-25 cm)||4.3-8.6 oz (121-244 g)||This owl is either mostly gray or mostly reddish-brown. They have yellow eyes.||They mostly feed on rodents and insects.|
|Great Horned Owl||18.1-24.8 in (46-63 cm)||32.1-88.2 oz (910-2500 g)||This owl is mottled gray-brown, with a reddish-brown face and a white patch on the throat.||Mostly rodents and birds.|
|Snowy Owl||20.5-27.9 in (52-71 cm)||56.4-104.1 oz (1600-2950 g)||These birds are overall white in color with some black and brown spots. They also have yellow eyes.||Mostly rodents and birds.|
|Barred Owl||16.9-19.7 in (43-50 cm)||16.6-37.0 oz (470-1050 g)||This owl has a mottled brown and white overall color, with dark brown/black, eyes.||They mostly feed on rodents and insects.|
|Long-eared Owl||13.8-15.8 in (35-40 cm)||7.8-15.3 oz (220-435 g)||This is a dark owl with an orange-colored face. The feathers of this bird have black, brown, and buff patterning.||They mostly feed on rodents and insects.|
|Short-eared Owl||13.4-16.9 in (34-43 cm)||7.3-16.8 oz (206-475 g)||This owl has a spotted brown color with white underparts.||They mostly feed on rodents and insects.|
|Northern Saw-whet Owl||7.1-8.3 in (18-21 cm)||2.3-5.3 oz (65-151 g)||This bird has a mottled brown color with a whitish facial disk and white-spotted head.||They mostly feed on rodents and insects.|
|Burrowing Owl||7.5-9.8 in (19-25 cm)||5.3 oz (150 g)||This owl has a brown mottled color with sandy-pale spots on the upper parts.||They mostly feed on rodents and insects.|
8 Species Of Owls In Illinois
The backs of barn owls are buff, with white faces, chests, bellies, and underwings. Their cheeks are large, their wings are long and rounded, and their tails are short.
Females have parasite-repelling patches on their chests, and the more spots a female has, the more males will contribute to nest construction!
They snooze in calm barns during the day and hunt for small rodents in open settings like fields and meadows at night. Barn owls eat their prey whole and vomit out pellets twice a day.
The Barn Owl searches for food mostly by sound since it has the finest hearing of any animal studied.
This allows them to hunt prey in full darkness, as well as those hiding behind plants or in water.
Nests are constructed in tree holes, tunnels, and abandoned or silent structures.
The nest is constructed of regurgitated pellets that have been placed in a cup by their feet. Over the course of one to three broods, they lay 2-18 white eggs.
Barn Owls may be found on all six continents, with 46 different species. Also, they scream in a raspy tone rather than hooting like other owls.
This little stocky bird is available in grey and red. They are around the size of a robin, but considerably bigger, with a massive head and nearly no neck.
Their striped and spotty camouflage blends very beautifully with tree bark.
On a cool, bright day, you could observe an Eastern Screech-Owl sunning itself in a tree hollow or a frantic swarm of songbirds when they find them.
Pellets heaped on top of one another are likewise a dead giveaway. They make both a vibrating trill and a loud, falling whining sound.
Most tiny creatures, including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, are eaten by Eastern Screech-Owls.
They mostly hunt at night, but sometimes at dawn and dusk. They usually sit and wait for prey to pass by before attacking.
Because Eastern Screech-Owls seldom build their own nests, they usually make use of abandoned woodpecker nests or other holes or cavities.
They don’t leave any nesting material in the hole and instead lay their eggs on whatever garbage is at the bottom.
Great Horned Owl
The Great Horned Owl is the largest of the owl species, and it is gray-brown with a mottled pattern and a white patch on the neck.
Their wings are broad and rounded, and as they fly, they emit a loud hooting sound.
It is one of the most common owls in North America, and it may be found in a variety of environments, including forests, deserts, towns, and grasslands.
These ferocious predators feed on birds and animals much larger than themselves. They will hunt raptors such as ospreys, peregrine falcons, and different owls.
Small rodents such as mice, skunks, geese, and hares, as well as insects, fish, and carrion, make up their diversified diet.
Great Horned Owls make their nests in trees and frequently reuse the nests of other species. On occasion, they may line the nest with bark, leaves, downy feathers, or pellets, but not always.
They are white birds with black or brown patterns, golden eyes, and a crow-like appearance.
They might be difficult to identify against a snowy background, but they prefer to roost at higher elevations where they are easier to see. During the mating season, they may make a loud croak or piercing whistle.
Snowy Owls are diurnal, unlike other owls, and spend the whole summer hunting in the arctic. They devour small animals, particularly lemmings, and may consume up to 1600 per year.
They also grab flying birds like ptarmigans and ducks. They feed on rodents, rabbits, squirrels, and waterfowl such as ducks and geese in the winter.
The Snowy Owl nest is simply a scraped little depression in the tundra dirt. They choose a windy place where the snow will be blown away, and the nest is reused for several years.
These enormous stocky birds are around the size of a crow or a goose. The bellies of Barred Owls are mottled, with vertical and horizontal bands on the backs and upper chest.
They have brown and white fur with a mottled pattern of vertical stripes on their bellies and horizontal stripes on their backs and upper breasts.
Their eyes are black, they have a rounded tail, and they have a round head with no ear tufts.
They keep a watch out for tiny creatures such as squirrels, rabbits, birds, and voles from a high perch. They inhabit huge ancient woods, generally near bodies of water.
Long-eared Owls can be seen in Massachusetts during the winter after breeding and migrating from northern states and Canada.
They are medium-sized, skinny owls, approximately the size of a crow, with a stunned expression.
Long-eared Owls have patterned black and brown feathers, buff cheeks, large black or buff ear tufts, and yellow eyes.
They are nocturnal and roost in dense woodlands where they are well hidden yet close to meadows where they may hunt.
Long-eared Owls eat tiny mammals including voles, mice, immature rats, and rabbits.
They hunt across large expanses of grassland or pastures by hovering only a few feet above the ground and searching for or listening for activity. They lay 2-10 white eggs in stick nests that have been abandoned by other species.
Long-eared Owls are rarely heard, except during mating season. They emit low-pitched hoots and whistles, as well as whines, shrieks, and meows reminiscent of cats.
The Short-eared Owl spends the winter in Florida, with some remaining until June before traveling north to nest in the United States and Canada. They are around the size of a crow and have no ear tufts.
Short-eared Owls have a pale face and black-rimmed yellow eyes with black, brown, and white speckles. They have a short tail as well as large, rounded wings.
Unlike other owls, the Short-eared Owl hunts all day, especially between dawn and dusk. They hover low to the ground, listening for movement from their prey, which includes voles and mice.
During courting, males of these owls may generate around a dozen hoots, and while guarding the nest, they may bark, whine, or scream.
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Saw-whet Owls are the eastern United States’ smallest owl species, having large, rounded heads and no ear tufts. Northern saw-whet owls have a brown body, a whitish facial disc, a white-spotted head, and yellow eyes.
Despite the fact that they are rarely seen in the wild, due to their nocturnal and reclusive nature, these owls create a piercing, penetrating cry numerous times in a row.
Northern saw-whet owls spend the day roosting near the trunks of evergreen trees in thick forests.
Burrowing Owls are unique because they hunt on the ground during the day, run around on their long legs, and dwell underground in burrows.
Burrowing Owls have flatter heads and lack the facial disc and ear tufts that other owls have, giving them a distinct appearance.
Adults have mottled brown and white bills and eyes, as well as yellow eyes. Their undersides are lighter in color than their backsides. The skin of children is less mottled.
Burrowing Owls are tiny and well-hidden, which makes them considerably more difficult to see in the field than you might expect.
Reptiles, birds, mammals, and insects are all sources of food for the Burrowing Owl. During the day, females hunt more insects, while males hunt more lizards, mice, and voles at night.
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