What Owls Live in North Carolina? (A Comprehensive Guide)

Have you ever been curious about the different species of owls that inhabit North Carolina? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various types of owls that call the Tar Heel State home, from the majestic Great-Horned Owl to the small and elusive Elf Owl.

Whether you are a bird enthusiast or simply curious about the animal life that exists in your own backyard, you won’t want to miss this guide!

What Owls Live In North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to an exciting and diverse range of owl species.

The most common species are the Great Horned Owl (the state bird of North Carolina), Barred Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, and Saw-whet Owl.

The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl species in the state, typically inhabiting open woodlands, fields, and wetlands.

They feed on a variety of small animals, including mice, rabbits, and other birds.

The Barred Owl is medium-sized and has a distinct hoot-hoot call.

They can be found in wetland habitats, such as swamps and marshes, hunting for frogs, snakes, and small rodents.

The Eastern Screech-Owl is a nocturnal species with a distinctive whinny call.

They hunt for small insects, mice, and other animals in wooded areas.

The Long-eared Owl is medium-sized and inhabits open woodlands and fields, hunting for rodents, small birds, and insects.

The Short-eared Owl is medium-sized and inhabits open fields, wetland habitats, and grassy areas.

They prefer to hunt small mammals such as voles, mice, and shrews.

The Saw-whet Owl is the smallest owl species found in North Carolina, inhabiting open woodlands and fields.

They feed on small insects, mice, and other small animals.

How Many Species Of Owls Live In North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to seven owl species, including the barred owl, eastern screech owl, great horned owl, long-eared owl, short-eared owl, northern saw-whet owl, and snowy owl.

The barred owl is the most abundant and can be found in almost every corner of the state.

They are medium-sized, with brown, streaked feathers and are most active at night.

The eastern screech owl is also common and can be found all over North Carolina.

These small owls are mostly gray with some red and brown, and are active at dusk and dawn.

The great horned owl is the largest of the North Carolina owls, primarily found in the western part of the state.

It has a distinct hoo call and is mostly gray with white spots.

The long-eared owl, although rare, can be spotted in woodlands and meadows near lakes and streams.

These small owls have long ears and are mostly gray with white spots.

The short-eared owl is a rare sight in North Carolina, found in the coastal plain and western mountains.

They are medium-sized with sandy brown and white feathers, and prefer open fields and marshes.

The northern saw-whet owl is also a rare find in the state, found primarily in the mountains.

These small owls have brown and white stripes.

Finally, the snowy owl is a rare visitor to North Carolina, seen in the winter months.

These large owls are white with black markings and prefer open fields and marshes.

In conclusion, North Carolina is home to seven species of owls.

Although some of these owls are rare, all of them can be spotted in different parts of the state throughout the year.

What Do Owls Eat In North Carolina?

Owls are one of the most unique and fascinating birds found in North Carolina.

These nocturnal creatures typically hunt and feed at night and roost during the day.

Owls are carnivorous, so their diet consists of a range of small animals, such as rodents, small birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

They may also feed on larger prey, such as rabbits, as well as carrion and fruits.

In North Carolina, owls can be found throughout the state, from the mountains to the coastal plain.

However, they are most common in areas with dense forest cover and open fields, such as those found in the Appalachian Mountains.

These habitats provide owls with plenty of food and shelter, as well as the dense vegetation to help them stay hidden from predators.

What Kind Of Owls Hoot At Night?

Owls are nocturnal birds, active at night and sleeping during the day.

They are known for their distinctive hoots, which can sometimes be heard up to a mile away.

The most commonly recognized hooting owl is the Great Horned Owl, found throughout North and South America.

The Barred Owl is another species of hooting owl, found in North America, with a distinct series of low-pitched and high-pitched hoots.

The Screech Owl, found throughout North America, has a series of loud, high-pitched trills and other vocalizations like shrieks, whistles, and squeals.

The Long-eared Owl, found in Europe, Asia, and North America, has a deep, repetitive hoot that can sound almost like a human voice.

There are many other owl species that make their presence known through different vocalizations.

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

If you suspect you have an owl in your yard, there are several ways to confirm it.

Look for the owl itself owls are nocturnal, so you’re likely to spot them early in the morning or late in the evening near tall trees, barns, or other tall structures.

They have a distinctive heart-shaped face and wingspan.

If you don’t see the owl, listen for its vocalizations hoots, screeches, and whistles.

You may also find feathers, droppings, and other signs of its presence.

If you have a bird feeder in your yard, you may be able to attract an owl they prey on small birds and rodents that frequent the area.

These tips should help you make an educated guess if you have an owl in your yard.

What Is The Most Common Owl In Nc?

The Barred Owl (Strix varia), the most common owl species in North Carolina, is a large, dark-colored bird with horizontal barring on its chest.

It is active at night, when it hunts for small mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, and fish.

This owl can be found in woodlands, swamps, wetlands, and even urban areas throughout North Carolina, Canada, Mexico, and the eastern United States.

Barred Owls typically measure 18-20 inches in length and weigh about 1.

5 pounds.

They have a deep, hooting call that can be heard at night and is used to locate potential mates and ward off predators.

Thus, the Barred Owl is an easily identifiable, widely distributed species that is commonly found in North Carolina.

How Do You Attract Owls?

Attracting owls to a specific area can be a rewarding experience.

Since owls are nocturnal, spotting them in the wild can be challenging.

To increase your chances of seeing these majestic creatures, there are a few steps you can take.

Firstly, create an inviting environment.

Provide a variety of perches, such as trees with wide branches, wood piles, and nest boxes.

Secondly, make sure there is an adequate food source, like small mammals that are active at night.

Thirdly, create a safe and quiet habitat for owls.

Avoid areas with a lot of human activity or noise and keep pets away from the area.

Lastly, provide a reliable source of water, such as a pond, stream, or bird bath.

Attracting owls takes effort and patience.

However, with the right environment, food, and water sources, you can be sure to have a successful owl-attracting experience.

Which Owl Sounds Like A Cat?

Have you ever asked yourself which owl sounds like a cat? Although some owl species have been known to make noises similar to a cat’s meow, it is not a common occurrence.

The most common owl species to make a sound resembling a cat’s meow is the Barn Owl.

This species has a unique, high-pitched call that is easily recognizable.

It is often heard in the night and can be mistaken for a cat.

The Screech Owl is another owl species that can make a sound similar to a cat.

Its call is higher pitched and louder than the Barn Owl’s, yet still has a cat-like quality to it.

It is usually heard during the night, and can also be mistaken for a cat.

Lastly, the Tawny Owl can make a sound similar to a cat’s meow.

Its call is a series of hoots that sounds like a cat’s meow.

It is often heard during the night and can be mistaken for the sound of a cat.

In conclusion, while some owl species can make a sound similar to a cat, the majority of owl species have distinct calls that are not similar to a cat.

The three most common species to make a sound like a cat are the Barn Owl, the Screech Owl, and the Tawny Owl.

What Is The Most Abundant Owl?

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is the most abundant species of owl in the world.

This species can be found living in many different habitats, such as dense forests, open fields, deserts, coastal regions, and even some populated areas.

They have a wide variety of food sources, such as small rodents, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects.

They are easily recognizable by their white and brown feathers, heart-shaped face, large black eyes, and distinct screech and hooting call.

Barn Owls are nocturnal hunters, preferring to hunt in open areas where prey can be more easily spotted.

They are highly adaptive, able to thrive in a wide range of environments, which is why they are so abundant.

They are found throughout Eurasia, Africa, Australia, the Americas, and some parts of the Pacific Islands.

The Barn Owl is even one of the few species of owl whose population is increasing.

In conclusion, the Barn Owl is the most abundant owl species in the world due to its impressive adaptability and wide habitat range.

They are easily recognizable, with their unique appearance, hooting call, and impressive hunting abilities.

As one of the few species of owl whose population is increasing, the Barn Owl is a fascinating and important species that is sure to remain abundant in the future.

What Is The Largest Owl To Live?

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) is the largest owl species, boasting a wingspan of up to 6.

6 feet and a body length of 28 inches.

This impressive predator has powerful talons and striking facial discs with bright yellow eyes and a white V-shaped marking on its forehead.

It is an adept hunter, taking down prey that is larger than itself, such as other birds, small mammals, and even some reptiles – and even, on rare occasions, foxes and young deer.

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is a versatile species, able to survive and thrive in a variety of habitats, from forests and grasslands to urban areas.

It is also able to adapt to changing climates and environments, making it one of the most successful and wide-ranging owl species.

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is an incredible species of owl, sure to captivate birders and nature-lovers with its impressive size and capabilities.

Its adaptability and ability to survive in different climates and environments make it a truly remarkable species.

What Is The Rarest Owl In The United States?

The Northern Spotted Owl is the rarest owl species in the United States, native to the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to the southern tip of British Columbia.

This medium-sized owl, measuring 16 inches in length and 41 inches in wingspan, is distinguished by its rounded head, white-spotted pattern, dark eyes, and yellow bill.

It feeds mainly on small mammals, such as rodents and voles, and is most active during the night.

Unfortunately, the Northern Spotted Owl is classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a number of threats, including logging, forest fragmentation, competition with other species, and climate change.

To help with population recovery, conservation efforts for this species involve protecting old-growth forests and creating buffer zones, as well as restoring their habitats and reintroducing them into the wild.

The Northern Spotted Owl is an important species to conserve as it helps maintain the balance of the ecosystems it inhabits.

Final Thoughts

In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the various species of owls that make North Carolina their home.

From the Great-Horned Owl to the Elf Owl, you now know more about the fascinating creatures that inhabit the Tar Heel State.

So, if you’re ever out bird watching or just curious about the animals in your own backyard, you can now confidently identify the different types of owls that you may encounter.

Now that you know more about the birds of North Carolina, it’s time to get out there and explore!


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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