What Owls Live in Colorado? (A Comprehensive Guide)

Owls are some of the most majestic creatures on the planet.

They have an almost mythical quality, and their call can be heard in the night air.

If youve ever wondered what species of owl live in Colorado, youve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, well cover the different types of owls found in Colorado, their habitats, and how you can spot them.

Whether youre a wildlife enthusiast or just curious, learning more about the owls of Colorado will be a fascinating experience.

Lets dive in!

What Owls Live In Colorado?

Owls are found all over the world, and Colorado is no exception.

The Centennial State is home to a diverse range of owls, including year-round and seasonal species.

The most common owls in Colorado are Great-horned Owls, Barred Owls, Long-eared Owls, Flammulated Owls, and Northern Pygmy Owls.

Great-horned Owls are the most abundant and widespread of all the owls in Colorado.

These large birds can be found in dense forests, open woodlands, and other habitats.

They are opportunistic feeders and hunt for small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even fish.

Barred Owls inhabit a variety of habitats, including dense forests, woodlands, and open areas.

They are medium-sized and mostly nocturnal, dining on small animals such as mice, voles, and other rodents.

Long-eared Owls are smaller than the other Colorado owls and inhabit coniferous forests and woodlands.

They are strictly nocturnal, preying on small mammals, birds, and insects.

Flammulated Owls are found in ponderosa pine, juniper, and oak woodlands.

They are active during the day and feed mostly on moths.

Finally, Northern Pygmy Owls are the smallest of the Colorado owls.

These tiny birds can be found in open coniferous forests, woodlands, and even residential areas.

They are mainly active during the day and feed mainly on small birds and large insects.

Overall, Colorado is a great place to observe these fascinating birds in their natural habitats.

From large Great-horned Owls to small Northern Pygmy Owls, the Centennial State is home to a wide variety of owls.

What Kind Of Owls Are In Colorado?

Colorado is home to several species of owls.

The most commonly seen owl in the Rocky Mountains is the Great Horned Owl, which is distinguished by its large size and prominent ear tufts.

This species is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, marshes, and canyons.

They feed on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and other animals.

The Northern Pygmy Owl is the second most common species in Colorado.

It is much smaller than the Great Horned Owl, but has bright orange eyes and white facial disks.

This species prefers montane coniferous forests and feeds on small mammals, birds, and insects.

The Barred Owl is slightly larger than the Northern Pygmy Owl and has a barred pattern on its chest and wings.

They are found in deciduous and mixed forests as well as grasslands, and feed mainly on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Long-eared Owl is another species found in Colorado.

It is characterized by its long, pointed ear tufts and mottled pattern of brown and white feathers.

This species prefers dense coniferous forests, and feeds on small mammals, birds, and other small animals.

Other species of owls that can be found in Colorado, although less common, include the Flammulated Owl, Short-eared Owl, and Northern Saw-whet Owl.

How Do You Attract Owls In Colorado?

Attracting owls to Colorado is a great way to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

While owls can often be found in many parts of the state, there are some key steps you can take to increase your chances of attracting them.

First, create a habitat that is attractive to owls by planting trees and shrubs that provide cover.

Additionally, provide food and water sources such as bird feeders and bird baths.

Second, add a bird box or other nesting material to your property.

Owls prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas, so make sure the box is away from any foot traffic or activity.

Finally, use owl calls or recordings to attract owls to your property.

It’s important to be familiar with the species you are trying to attract and to move decoys around regularly so the owls don’t become accustomed to them.

By taking these steps, you can dramatically increase your chances of attracting owls to your Colorado property.

What Are The Largest Owls In Colorado?

In Colorado, you can find a variety of owl species, most of which are nocturnal.

The largest owls found in the state are the Great Horned Owls and Snowy Owls.

Great Horned Owls have an average wingspan of 3-4 feet and a length of about 20 inches, and feature distinct tufts of feathers on their heads that resemble horns, giving them their name.

These large birds inhabit a variety of habitats throughout Colorado.

Snowy Owls, which have a wingspan of up to 5 feet, are the second largest owls found in the state.

They are white with black markings and are migratory birds, often spotted in Colorado during the winter months.

These birds prefer open landscapes such as tundra, prairie, and farmlands.

In addition, Colorado is home to many smaller owl species, including the Northern Saw-whet Owl, Barred Owl, and Long-eared Owl.

These owls are typically smaller than the Great Horned Owl and Snowy Owl, and can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the state.

It is important to remember that all owls in Colorado are protected under state and federal laws, and it is illegal to hunt or disturb them in any way.

If you are lucky enough to spot an owl in Colorado, take the time to admire it from a distance and enjoy the experience.

What Kind Of Owls Live In The Colorado Mountains?

The Colorado mountains provide a home for many species of birds, including owls.

Two of the most common owls found in this region are the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) and the Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium gnoma).

The Great Horned Owl is the most wide-ranging and adaptable of all North American owls.

With a wingspan of up to five feet, it is easily identified by its distinctive tufts of feathers that resemble horns.

The Great Horned Owl’s diet mainly consists of small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels and mice.

The Northern Pygmy Owl is much smaller, typically only reaching 7 inches in length.

These owls are identified by their distinct black and white facial patterns, and are known for their loud, hooty call.

They can be found in a variety of habitats, including coniferous and deciduous forests, and their diet mainly consists of small birds and mammals.

In addition to these two species of owls, other species, such as the Great Gray Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, and Western Screech Owl, can also occasionally be spotted in the Colorado mountains.

What Bird Looks Like An Owl But Isn’T An Owl?

The short answer is that there are some birds that resemble owls, but in actuality, are not owls.

The most well-known is the common barn owl, which has a rounded head, long legs, and a white, mottled facial disc.

The main difference between a barn owl and an owl is the coloring; barn owls are typically a light shade of brown, while true owls can be any color, from white to black.

Furthermore, barn owls have a heart-shaped face, while true owls have a more round face.

Another bird that looks like an owl but is not an owl is the American kestrel.

It has a facial disc and long legs, as well as a more pointed face.

Its coloring is grayish-brown and it has a distinct line of color on its chest, which is absent in true owls.

Finally, the common screech owl is another bird that looks like an owl but is not.

It has an elongated face and a pattern of white and brown stripes on its head and chest.

Additionally, it is much smaller than true owls, and its coloring is usually a light gray or brown.

To sum up, there are a few birds that resemble owls, but are not actually owls.

The most common of these is the barn owl, followed by the American kestrel and the common screech owl.

Each of these birds can be easily distinguished from true owls due to their distinctive features.

What Kind Of Owls Hoot At Night?

Owls are nocturnal birds of prey, meaning that they hunt and are most active at night.

Owls can be found worldwide, and they are recognized by their distinctive hoots.

The most common species of owls that hoot at night are the Great Horned Owl, the Barn Owl, the Eastern Screech Owl, the Snowy Owl, the Barred Owl, and the Long-Eared Owl.

The Great Horned Owl is the most widespread and recognizable of the night owls.

This species has large, rounded heads, with bright yellow eyes and prominent ear tufts.

It produces a deep, low-pitched who-who-who sound.

The Barn Owl has a heart-shaped face with a white/buff-colored body and long, pointed wings.

It hunts in open fields and meadows and its call is a loud, raspy screech.

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl with a grayish-brown body and yellow eyes.

It inhabits woodlands and its call is a trill-like sound.

The Snowy Owl is a large, white-colored owl found in the Arctic tundra.

It hoots a low-pitched sound.

The Barred Owl is a medium-sized owl with a brown and white-striped body.

This species is found in woodlands and it hoots a deep who-cooks-for-you call.

The Long-Eared Owl is a small owl with a long, slender body and long ear tufts.

It can be found in woodlands and its call is a long, drawn-out hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo sound.

In conclusion, the most common owls that hoot at night are the Great Horned Owl, the Barn Owl, the Eastern Screech Owl, the Snowy Owl, the Barred Owl, and the Long-Eared Owl.

Each of these species has a unique call that can be heard in the night.

What’S The Difference Between A Hoot Owl And A Barn Owl?

The hoot owl and the barn owl are two distinct species of owls that have noticeable differences in their appearance, habitat preference, and behavior.

Hoot owls are generally larger than barn owls and have a stockier, rounder shape with a longer, more prominent bill.

They also have a facial disc, dark eyes, and a contrasting white patch around the beak.

In contrast, barn owls have a heart-shaped facial disc, a much paler face, and a much smaller bill.

Hoot owls are more territorial and prefer to live in forests and woodlands, while barn owls are more adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including open fields, grasslands, and even urban areas.

The sounds that each type of owl makes is also distinct – hoot owls make a deep, hooting sound, while barn owls make a shrill, screeching sound.

Hoot owls are typically more nocturnal than barn owls, while barn owls can be active during both the day and night.

How Do You Tell If You Have An Owl In Your Yard?

If you think you may have an owl in your yard, there are several signs to look for to confirm your suspicions.

The most obvious indication is hearing its call.

Owls are night-time creatures, so you’ll likely hear their hoots, screeches, and calls during the evening.

The sound of an owl can differ greatly depending on its species; for instance, the barred owl is known for its ‘who-cooks-for-you’ call, whereas the great horned owl has a deep ‘hoo-hoo-hoo’ sound.

In addition to its vocalizations, you can look for physical signs that an owl is nearby.

Look for regurgitated pellets of fur and bones, or feathers, which are a definite indication of an owl’s presence.

Keep an eye out for their large wingspan, too.

Finally, set up a motion-activated game or trail camera.

This will help you capture photos or videos of the owl in your yard.

If you get clear images, you can determine the type of owl by observing its size, color, and markings.

To conclude, if you believe you have an owl in your yard, look for its call, physical signs, and large wingspan.

You can also set up a camera to take pictures of the owl, which will help you identify it.

What Owl Has 3 Hoots?

The answer to the question, “What owl has 3 hoots?” is that there is no single owl species known to make three hoots in succession.

Owls, like other birds, use vocalizations to communicate with one another, and they produce a variety of sounds.

The most common type of owl call is a hoot, which is a deep, low-pitched hoo sound.

In general, owls use hoots to advertise their presence and to establish their territories.

However, some species can produce multiple hoots in one call.

For example, the Great Horned Owl is known to make a series of three hoots in one call, often described as “hoo-hoo-hoo”.

The Barred Owl, meanwhile, is known to make a series of four hoots in one call, typically described as “who-cooks-for-you”.

Other owl species, such as the Short-Eared Owl, can produce a variety of sounds in addition to hoots, including shrieks and barks.

In conclusion, there is no single owl species that is known to hoot three times in succession.

Nonetheless, some owl species are known to make a series of hoots in one call.

How Do You Identify An Owl?

Identifying an owl can be a tricky task, but if you know what to look for, it can be much simpler.

Start by considering the shape and size of the bird.

Owls tend to have a round facial disc, which helps them focus their hearing to pick up faint noises from their prey.

They are usually larger than other birds, such as songbirds, and their wings are often longer in proportion to their body size.

Check the coloration of the owl.

They come in a variety of colors ranging from light brown to white, but the most common are dark brown or grey, with white spotting on their feathers and face.

Listen for the call of the owl.

They are known for their distinct hoots, which can be heard at night in many places.

The hoots vary depending on the species, but they are typically deep and low-pitched.

Lastly, observe the owl’s behavior.

Owls are usually nocturnal, meaning they hunt at night and roost during the day.

They are often seen perched in trees, and may bob their heads up and down when looking for prey.

By taking the shape, size, colors, call, and behavior into account, you can easily identify an owl.

Final Thoughts

Now you know all about the owls of Colorado! You can find Great Horned Owls in coniferous forests, Western Screech Owls in riparian areas, and Burrowing Owls in open grasslands.

With this knowledge, you can now go out and search for these majestic creatures in their natural habitats.

When you spot one, take a moment to appreciate their beauty and remember the lessons youve learned.

Enjoy the adventure!


James is a curious and adventurous journalist who loves to research and write about birds. He is highly knowledgeable about bird behavior, anatomy, and conservation, and is passionate about helping protect them.He is also an avid reader, often spending hours reading scientific journals, bird-watching guides, and other literature related to birds.

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