It may be hard to tell one owl from the next, mainly because there are so many types. It is similar to a Barred Owl, and they both are around the same size. The Barred Owl is 16-25 inches while the Spotted Owl is 17 inches. In terms of conservation status, the Barred Owl is the least threatened, and the Spotted Owl is near threatened. Most Owls have yellow or orange eyes but if you look closely at the picture, this owl has black eyes. You can also identify them by their call which sounds like a combination of a puppy or dog yapping and a high-pitched owl hooting.
In Portland, where I used to live, I would go owl watching in a forest that isn’t heavily packed with people and doesn’t have so much man-made this and that. There, I would see many types of owls. One type of owl was a Spotted Owl. When I went owl watching, I would usually only see them in one area. Sometimes you’d see two on one branch preening each other and singing. There are approximately 1,200 pairs of Spotted Owls in the state of Oregon and fewer in states like Washington and California.
It may be hard to see them because they nest very high up. Lots nest about 70 feet high but some even spot them being much higher. They are one of the few birds that don’t build nests but nest in cavities or even a bird of prey’s old, already-built nest.
In early spring to late summer and fall, they start their breeding season and breed for about a month. When the female has her offspring, they stay with her for 8-10 days. During this time, the male finds and brings back food for his mate and their nestlings, but sadly, juvenile Spotted Owls have only 11% of survival.
Predator and Prey:
Where I went bird watching, at night was an important time for both the Spotted owl and it’s predator, the coyote. People had warned us not to go there at night because that is when the coyotes come out. But one night we forgot our keys and had to spend a long time looking for them in the dark. We went back to the place where we usually saw the owls but heard a loud noise. Then I saw an owl fly away from the spot where I heard the noise come from. The noise was clearly the sound of one or two coyotes.
Owls hunt at night for small animals especially rodents, flying Squirrels and Wood Rats. Coyotes also hunt at night. They must have figured out where and when the owls hunt so that they could find and attack them easily. Another predator of them are Golden Eagles which mainly eat young nestlings and eggs.
Random Interesting, Facts:
~Did you know that cats live about 20 years? Spotted Owls in captivity live about that same amount of time or less, and Spotted Owls in the wild live about 10-15 years.