Georgia is home to a fantastic variety of wildlife, including seven species of owls. These enigmatic birds have captivated people for centuries, inspiring curiosity and admiration. Whether you are a die-hard birdwatcher or a casual observer, Try to Find Each of the 7 Species of Owls in Georgia.
Owls in Georgia
Owls are iconic birds of prey featured in tales and legends throughout history. In the state of Georgia, seven species of owl can be found among forests, swamps, and grasslands. This includes some species unique to the Southeast United States and others that migrate through the region during certain times of the year.
Scientific Name: Megascopsasio
Length: 6.3-9.8 inches
Weight: 4.2-8.6 ounces
Wingspan: 18-24 inches
Eastern Screech-Owl is a small owl native to the eastern parts of North America. It has three colour morphs; grey, brown, and red. These owls are adaptable to many habitats like woodlands, suburban gardens, and even parks. Their song sounds like descending whinny or trill so they can be easily identified in their native range. This nocturnal species primarily feeds on insects, worms, and small vertebrates like rodents and frogs.
Their mating season usually begins in late winter or early spring, with females laying up to five white eggs, which hatch after about 27 days. They build their nests in cavities of trees, such as dead snags or tree hollows lined with grasses, leaves, and feathers for insulation from cold weather conditions.
Scientific Name: Tytofurcata
Length: 13-15 inches
Weight: 1-1.3 pounds
Wingspan: 42-43.3 inches
Barn Owls in Georgia are one of nature’s most iconic and beloved birds. Their distinctive heart-shaped face and large eyes have long been a symbol of wisdom and intelligence. But did you know that barn owls have remarkable adaptations that make them well-suited to living in the wild?
These nocturnal creatures possess incredible hearing that helps them hunt for prey even in complete darkness. Their facial feathers are designed to act as an acoustic amplifier, allowing barn owls to pinpoint a rodent’s exact location quickly.
They also have an impressive wingspan that enables them to soar silently through the night sky while hunting. Thanks to these unique traits, barn owls can be found on every continent except Antarctica!
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Scientific Name: Aegoliusacadicus
Length: 7-8.3 inches
Weight: 2.3-5.5 ounces
Wingspan: 16.5-19 inches
The Northern Saw-Whet Owl is a fascinating and unique species of owl that can be found living in coniferous forests across North America. This owl is small but mighty, only 8 inches tall and weighing around 4 ounces. Despite its size, it has an extraordinary vision with binocular vision that is two times better than human eyesight!
Its call consists of a series of high-pitched whistles that sound like the sawing of wood at times, which gives the species its name. As nocturnal hunters, these owls use their sharp talons and strong beak to capture prey such as voles, mice, and even small birds. As winter approaches, they migrate southward to avoid the cold temperatures in search of food.
Barred Owls in Georgia
Scientific Name: Strixvaria
Length: 16-25 inches
Weight: 1-2.75 pounds
Wingspan: 38-49 inches
The Barred owl is a species of owl found in North and Central America. This small-medium-sized bird has large, round wings and a short tail. Its feathers are mainly brown and white, giving it an attractive appearance. The Barred owl can be found in wooded areas such as forests, swamps, and marshes. It builds its nests in hollow trees or cavities found in wooded areas.
The diet of the Barred Owl consists mainly of rodents such as mice, rats, and voles, but they also eat amphibians, reptiles, and small birds. They hunt by perching on a branch or tree trunk until they spot their prey before swooping down to catch it with their paws. When threatened or scared, this owl will use its loud hooting call to scare away predators.
Great Horned Owl
Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus
Length: 17-25 inches
Weight: 2.5-4 pounds
Wingspan: 36-60 inches
The great horned owl is one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable birds. Its wide wingspan, imposing size, and recognizable hoot make it an essential part of any ecosystem. Not only are they fascinating creatures to observe, but they also play a vital role in controlling rodent populations throughout their habitats.
These majestic birds can be found throughout most of North and South America and some parts of Europe and Asia. They generally prefer dense forests with plenty of open spaces for hunting, such as meadows and fields.
They have a solid nocturnal nature, so they are often seen perched on tree branches or flying silently at night, searching for small rodents like mice or shrews. Their sharp talons provide a powerful grip that helps them catch their prey quickly without much effort, making them effective predators in the wild.
Scientific Name: Asiootus
Length: 13.8-15.8 inches
Weight: 7.8-15.5 ounces
Wingspan: 35.5-39.5 inches
The long-eared owl is an iconic species known for its distinctive ear tufts and large, bright yellow eyes. This nocturnal bird of prey can be found across North America and Europe, living in open woodlands and more urban areas such as parks and golf courses. Its slender body, small head, white throat patch, and dark brown speckles make it a striking sight.
These owls are highly adaptable creatures that feed on various animals, including rodents, insects, bats, reptiles, and even other birds. They hunt by perching on high places such as trees or telephone poles at night, waiting for their prey to come close enough for them to snatch it up with their sharp talons. Long-eared owls also have excellent hearing, which helps them locate food quickly in the dark.
Short-Eared Owls in Georgia
Scientific Name: Asioflammeus
Length: 13-17 inches
Weight: 7.3-16.8 ounces
Wingspan: 33.5-40.5 inches
Short-eared owls are a unique species of owl native to North America and Europe. These tiny birds are easily identified by their distinctive yellow eyes and short ear tufts which give them the name ‘short-eared.’ They can also be recognized for their buffy brown and white mottled plumage, long wings, round heads, and white throats.
They have several exciting adaptations to survive in their habitats. During the day, they are camouflaged against the grasslands, nesting and hunting for prey such as voles, mice, rabbits, snakes, and giant insects. At night they become more active as they hunt with their excellent vision and hearing abilities.
Owls in Georgia are a unique and diverse group of raptors. From the Great Horned Owl to the Burrowing Owl, they can be found in various habitats across the state. Observing these majestic creatures is a great way to appreciate nature and understand its importance.
With patience, determination, and luck, you can find all seven species of owls that call Georgia home. So go out there and look for them – you never know what surprises you may encounter.