Fun Boreal Owl Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Read boreal owl facts like breeding range and prey
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Are you interested in learning about unique birds like northern bobwhite? Then you should definitely read about boreal owls.

The boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) is native to the subalpine forests of northern North America and the northern parts of Eurasia. The boreal owls (Aegolius funereus) are North American birds that are generally of chocolate brown color, covered in white spots.

They can be noticed in the lower elevation of the tropical forests, commonly known as the boreal forests in North America.

These boreal owls are partially migrant in nature and can be seen in the coniferous forests down south. These small birds prey on other small mammals or birds as their primary food.

The boreal owl, also known as Tengmalm's owl, is generally a serial monogamous creature where the bonds made to pair up between the male and female boreal owls continue for a single breeding season.

They have an average of producing two to six eggs after a maturation period of 26 -32 days, where the female birds are taken care of by the male boreal owls.

They refrain from making their own nest box and usually find their nest sites in the old woodpecker cavities in the trees of the tropical forests.

These owls keep a check on the population growth as well by feeding on the small mammals, voles, and invertebrates. If you like what you read, do check out currawong facts and hawk facts.

Boreal Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a boreal owl?

The boreal owl or Tengmalm's owl is a species of owl. It belongs to the family of Strigidae.

What class of animal does a boreal owl belong to?

The boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) belongs to the class of Aves. According to the Cornell Lab of ornithology, these partially migrant birds is a prime inhabitant of the Boreal Forests of the tropical zone.

How many boreal owls are there in the world?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the boreal owls are listed under the Least Concern section, and they have a population ofapproximately 700,000 to 2.4 million. This species is currently residing in the subtropical mountain ranges.

Where does a boreal owl live?

The boreal owls are mostly seen in the northern parts of North America, few areas in Canada, Eurasia, and throughout the Rocky Mountains. Even though they are not migrant birds, boreal owl flying towards the south is noticed in the late winter.

What is a boreal owl's habitat?

These North American birds live in the subalpine forests and the boreal forests of the temperate zone, where they target voles, insects, and comparatively smaller mammals and birds as their food. They generally live in trees of lower elevation where they are closer to the trunk of the trees.

Who does boreal owl live with?

Considering the fact that these owls are serial monogamous in nature, they are not very social by nature and generally pair up to mate for a single breeding season.

How long does a boreal owl live?

They lack a longer life span and have an average life span of seven to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

The boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) belonging to the Aves class are mostly serial monogamous in nature.

These owls are extremely secretive in nature and known to be anti-social, and so they have a record of pairing up with their mates to reproduce for a single breeding season, only making them serial monogamous in nature.

In a single breeding season, they produce three to six eggs on average but in extremely rare cases, up to 11 eggs where the period of incubation may last up to 29 days on average.

During the gestation period, the female owls are being taken care of by the male owls where the collection of the food and feeding of the female owls are done by the male owls.

The younger boreal owls are commonly known as owlet which remains almost blind up to 10 days after their birth. They are found to be most comfortable to mate in between the summer months of March and July.

Boreal owls refrain from creating their own nest site and consider the old cavities in trees created by woodpeckers as their nest box in which they hatch their eggs.

What is their conservation status?

According to the research section of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the boreal owl comes under the list of Least Concern birds, and hence, they are not globally threatened and are not considered to be an endangered species.

Boreal Owl Fun Facts

What do boreal owls look like?

Boreal owls are nocturnal animals and have a vast breeding range.

The boreal owls are small birds that are not very vibrant by sight but possess yellow eyes, which is an important distinguishing feature of them. The whole body is covered with feathers where the head and the back are brownish in color and covered with white spots all over.

They have few white slit-like marks on their faces that end in a light yellow colored bark. During the time of birth, the owlets are of chocolate brown color and as they grow, the color becomes comparatively lighter.

How cute are they?

The boreal owl is a species of small owl found in the northern part of the subtropicals that is extremely cute and tiny by appearance. Their sharp yellow beak and bright yellow eyes make them look attractive.

How do they communicate?

The boreal owl makes a generic 'hoo' sound or commonly known as 'kew' or 'kip' for communication. The male and female boreal owl calls are different.

The males make a sound that increases in volume. The sound lasts for quite some time. In contrast, the females have a mewing sound similar to the males but more of a song that is sung in a non-continuous manner.

How big is a boreal owl?

The Borean owl is not very large but a species of a small owl category. The male birds have an average of 8-10 in (21-25cm) in length, while the females have an average of  10-11 in (25-28cm) in length.  The northern saw-whet owl, their closest relative, is almost twice the size of the boreal owls.

How fast can a boreal owl move?

With a wingspan of 20-24 in (50-62 cm), these birds are pretty fast in comparison to their other relatives.

How much does a boreal owl weigh?

The weights of the male and the female Borean owls differ from each other to some extent. While the males weigh between  0.1-0.2 lb (90-115g), the weight of females would be between  0.2-0.4 lb (120-195g). It weighs much lesser than a short-eared owl.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males of the species are known as cocks, while the females of the species are known as hens.

What would you call a baby boreal owl?

The baby boreal owl is generally known as the owlet while they stay at their nest site.

What do they eat?

The boreal owls are carnivores in nature and so they prey on voles, insects, and comparatively smaller birds as their food. They also hunt smaller mammals like squirrels for food.

Are they poisonous?

There is no evidence of the boreal owls being poisonous, whereas these birds are considered to be food by the local predators like larger birds and mammals that prey on the owls for survival.

Would they make a good pet?

Since keeping an owl as a pet is against the law, there is no evidence of boreal owls being kept as pets.

Did you know...

One of the most fascinating boreal owl facts is that the males are smaller in size than the females, where the female owls are almost twice the size of the male owls.

The boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) is also known as Richardson’s owl.

The male boreal owl calls for the female owls after finding the nest for mating.

Are they endangered?

Boreal owls are listed under the section of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, so they are not considered to be endangered at present.

What does a boreal owl sound like?

Even though the owls make a generic 'hoo' sound or commonly known as 'kew' or 'kip', according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the male owl sings to attract the female ones while the female has a comparatively aggressive sound.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our toco toucan facts and birds-of-paradise facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable boreal owl coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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