Wingspan of Owl: Explained And Compared With Others

There’s one time I saw an owl in a bird sanctuary. I was stunned when the owl flared its wings out. It was so massive!

After that, I was curious to know about the wingspan of owls. And it led me on a rabbit hole journey about the owl’s wingspan.

So here I brought to you this article about the owl’s wingspan. I’ve explained all the owl’s wingspan and also compare them with others.

So without further ado, let’s get into it. 

Eastern Screech Owl Wingspan 

The eastern screech owl or Megascops asio is a tiny owl found in Eastern North America, from Mexico to Canada. When flying over forested regions, the Eastern Screech Owl travels rather quickly with a steady wingbeat. 

Furthermore, they rarely glide but may fly with unpredictable motions. When flying, the wings of the Eastern Screech Owl are wide and their heads are tucked in, giving the bird a stubby look. Eastern screech owls are tiny, measuring 6 to 10 inches in length with a wingspan of 19 to 24 inches.

The wingspan of an Eastern Screech Owl can range anywhere between 46 to 61 cm (18 to 24 in) or 1.5 to 2 feet. 

WingspanCentimeter Inch Feet
Eastern screech owl46 to 61 cm18 to 24 in1.5 to 2 ft

Female Eastern Screech Owls are generally larger than their male counterparts, and so have a larger wingspan. 

Barred Owl Wingspan

The eastern part of the United States, as well as central Canada and northern California, is home to a large number of Barred Owls. Barred Owls are usually seen as huge and stocky owls with rounded heads and body sizes of medium-length. 

Also, Barred Owls are significantly smaller than Great Horned Owls. 

Barred Owls, like other owls, fly silently while making minimum noise during their flight. Moreover, Barred Owls have a huge surface area on their wings, which allows them to glide through the air without flapping as much. 

The Barred Owls have a wingspan between 96 to 125 cm (38 to 49 in) or 3.16 to 4.08 feet. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Barred Owl 96 to 125 cm38 to 49 in3.16 to 4.08 feet

Snowy Owl Wingspan

Snowy owls are huge birds that reside mostly in the Arctic in wide, treeless environments known as tundra. 

Snowy Owls are white birds with black or brown patterns on their bodies and wings. The bird is completely coated in white feathers and is one of the most stunning creatures you’ll ever see.

The ends of the Snowy Owl’s flying feathers are soft and feathery, allowing it to fly in complete silence since the air does not generate noise as it passes through the soft feathers. This helps them in catching their prey more easily and efficiently. 

Moreover, these owls have large wingspans which make them glide smoothly through the air. The Snowy Owl has a wingspan of about 4.1-4.7 feet on average. However, in the case of these birds, the male and female Snowy Owls have different wingspans. 

Snowy Owl wingspan Centimeter Feet/Inch 
Male 116 to 165.6 cm3 ft 10 in to 5 ft 5 in
Female 146 to 183 cm4 ft 9 in to 6 ft 0 in

Burrowing Owl Wingspan

The burrowing owl is a comparatively tiny, long-legged owl that lives in open areas of North and South America. Burrowing Owls are sandy-colored owls with ridiculously long legs that they utilize to hunt during the day.

Additionally, these owls have a very jerky flight with uneven wing beats, and they frequently glide for extended distances. They primarily hover during courting and hunting, occasionally flapping their wings. 

The wingspan of the Burrowing Owl is 50.8–61 cm (20–24 in) or 1.66 to 2 feet long.

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Burrowing owl50.8–61 cm20–24 in1.66 to 2 ft

Although this species can fly and does migrate in certain regions, the Burrowing Owl is frequently regarded as a less effective flier than other owls since it spends the most of its time on the ground.

Boreal Owl Wingspan

The little Boreal Owl comes to life in the spruce and fir woods of northern North America and Europe at night. The Boreal Owl is a small, hefty owl with a broad, flat-topped skull. Because these owls normally fly a short distance from the ground when hunting, it is critical that their prey does not hear them approaching.

Thus, in order to make as less noise as possible the Boreal Owls have a wingspan of about 50–62 cm (20–24 in) or 1.66 to 2 feet. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Boreal Owls50–62 cm20–24 in1.66 to 2 ft

Elf Owl Wingspan

The elf owl is a little grayish-brown bird approximately the size of a sparrow that lives in the southwestern United States, central Mexico, and the Baja California peninsula. Furthermore, the Elf Owl is one of the world’s tiniest raptors.

Interestingly, baby elf owls can fly when they are four to five weeks old. The Elf Owl, like other owls, flies silently. To avoid scaring their prey, softened feathers on the front edges of their wings mute the sound of their wing beat.

Comparatively, the Elf Owls have small wings due to their small overall size. Their wingspan ranges between 27 cm (10.5 in) or 0.8 feet. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Elf Owl 27 cm10.5 in0.8 ft

Spotted Owl Wingspan

Spotted Owls are medium-sized owl that lives in the old forests of western North America. The Spotted Owl itself appears to be everything but fierce, it has a delicate appearance and feeds mostly on tiny creatures found in the forest. 

The Spotted Owls have large and rounded wings, which they use to smoothly and silently glide through their hunting path.

These have a wingspan of about 114 cm (45 in) or 3.7 feet. In comparison to other owls such as the Elf Owl and the Burrowing Owl, the Spotted Owls are large and have a large wingspan. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Spotted Owl114 cm45 in3.7 ft

Western Screech Owl Wingspan

The Western Screech Owl is a tiny owl endemic to North and Central America that is closely related to the Eastern Screech Owl detailed above. Western Screech-Owls, like many other tiny owls, nest in tree cavities dug by woodpeckers.

Western Screech-Owls are tiny birds of prey with stocky bodies. The Western Screech Owl’s flight feather tips are serrated, which muffles the flying noise and allows them to strike prey softly.

The wingspan of the Western Screech Owls is about 55 cm (22 in) on average. However, in the case of these owls, the male and female have different sizes of their wingspan. Males have wingspans of 168.4 mm, while females have wingspans of 174.5 mm.

Western Screech Owl wingspan Centimeter Feet/Inch 
Male 16.84 cm0.55 ft
Female 17.45 cm0.57 ft

The male Western Screech Owls have smaller wingspan than the female ones. 

Northern Saw-Whet Owl Wingspan

The northern saw-whet owl is a tiny owl in the Strigidae family that is native to North America. The Northern Saw-Whet Owl is found over most of North America, so odds are you’ll see it at least once.

These little owls migrate south for the winter, often around October and near the Great Lakes. They can readily fly about at night in pursuit of prey, but during the day, they rely largely on their feathers’ camouflage properties.

The wingspan of these small Northern saw-whet owls is around 42–56.3 cm (16.5–22.2 in) or 1.37 to 1.84 feet. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Northern saw-whet owl42–56.3 cm16.5–22.2 in1.37 to 1.84 ft

Flammulated Owl Wingspan

The flammulated owl is a tiny migratory North American owl in the Strigidae family that has completely black eyes. Furthermore, the Flammulated Owl is a tiny bird that lives largely in highland pine woods.

Relative to their body size, the Flammulated owls have large wings, which they use to fly rapidly through large trees and dense forests. Additionally, with such large wings and small body sizes, these owl types achieve high speed during their flight. 

The wingspan of these Flammulated Owls is about 36 cm (14 in) wingspan or 1.18 feet. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Flammulated owl36 cm14 in1.18 ft

Whiskered Screech Owl Wingspan

The whiskered screech owl or Megascops trichopsis is a tiny screech owl that is native to North and Central America.

This little owl is prevalent in the oak forests of the highlands near the Mexican border. Furthermore, the Whiskered is a bit smaller and prefers higher elevations.

These birds often hunt around nightfall and into the night. In general, they hunt by perching on an elevation and then taking short flights out to get prey in the foliage or on the ground. 

In order to do so smoothly and without the prey knowing, the Whiskered Screech has a wingspan of about 40-50cm (15.7-19.7 in) or 1.31 to 1.64 ft. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Whiskered screech owl40-50cm15.7-19.7 in1.31 to 1.64 ft

Northern Pygmy Owl Wingspan

The northern pygmy owl is a tiny owl that is indigenous to western North America. The Eurasian pygmy owl, or Glaucidium passerinum, is Europe’s smallest owl. The term “Pygmy” refers to the bird’s diminutive size.

This little owl is frequently active during the day in western woods. It may fly low and rapidly from one tree to the next, then swoop up for a high perch.

The Northern Pygmy-Owl, like no other owl, does not fly silently. Its wings produce a buzzing or whirring sound while it flies.

The wingspan of these small owls is also comparatively very small about 30 cm (12 in) or 0.98 feet. 

Wingspan Centimeter Inch Feet
Northern pygmy owl30 cm12 in0.98 ft


And that was everything you need to know about the Owl’s wingspan. I hope this article was informative enough and you got something useful from it.

Thank You For Reading!

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