Round-headed, eyes yellow, bill black. Facial disk reddish/brown; forehead has short white vertical streaks. Ventrally reddish/brown streaking extends from neck to belly. Dorsally brown with white spots. Juvenile has dark reddish/brown facial disk and white forehead. Upper chest is reddish/brown grading into dark rust belly and flanks. Juveniles molt into adult-like plumage by early winter. SIZE: seven to eight inches. WEIGHT: three to four ounces. VOICE: A monotonous, "Toot, toot, toot
," given rapidly and consistently throughout the night. Similar to one of the Northern Pygmy-Owl's calls.
For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.
Boreal Owls are slightly larger, have a yellow/white bill, rectangular head, whitish facial disk, and are darker brown overall with no reddish tinge.
Western Hemisphere Range
Migratory although some birds may remain throughout winter.
Most common in coniferous forests; however, they can be found in deciduous trees along watercourses.
Predominately small mice, although small birds and insects are probably also eaten.
Begins nesting in April. Nests in woodpecker holes and possibly natural cavities. Clutch size four to six. Incubation approximately 30 days. Young just out of nest reported on May 29 and July 12. Egg dates probably similar to Alberta: April 18 to June 8.