Owls are birds of prey and most species are nocturnal and solitary. Despite being raptors, many species appear innocent and adorable due to their large, round eyes and fluffy bodies. There are around 200 species of owls in the world, but this list highlights 19 of the cutest ones.
- List Of The Cutest Owl Species
- Cute Small Owl Breeds
List Of The Cutest Owl Species
Some species, such as the tawny owl and boreal owl, have rounded heads and squat bodies which create an adorable physique. Other species such as the crested owl and great horned owl boast fluffy ear tufts, giving them an endearing look. This cuteness is enhanced by the tiny size of some owls, including the elf owl and the Northern Pygmy Owl.
Scientific Name: Tyto alba
Their characteristic, heart-shaped face combined with their slender physique makes barn owls both cute and elegant. Their upper body is pale brown whilst is face and underparts are pure white. They feed primarily on small mammals. Barn owls reside in open farmland and countryside, ranging across every continent except Antarctica.
Scientific Name: Bubo scandiacus
The Snowy Owl is a large owl found throughout North America. It is approximately 20 to 28 inches in length, with a wingspan of up to five feet, and has white feathers with dark barring.
Snowy Owls are carnivorous birds that feed mainly on small mammals such as voles, lemmings, and hares. They prefer open tundra or tundra-like habitats for their habitat and can be spotted perched atop tall trees or stones near these areas.
Snowy Owls form strong pair bonds that last for more than one breeding season. Their nests are typically built high up in dead trees or on man-made structures like power poles or towers using an array of materials such as grasses, mosses, and fur collected by the male while the female builds the nest structure.
A notable characteristic of Snowy Owls is their adaptability to cold climates due to their thick coats of feathers which enable them to survive even during extreme winter weather conditions. This makes them well-suited for life in North America where they inhabit many regions across the continent including northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
Scientific Name: Bubo bubo
Their large feet and ear tufts give them a somewhat comical yet cute appearance. Their feathers are mottled brown. Eurasian eagle owls predominantly prey on small mammals. They occupy a range of habitats, from mountains to woodlands, and are most commonly found in Eurasia.
Scientific Name: Athene noctua
Little owls measure only 8 inches in length, making them the smallest owl in the UK. They have brown and white mottled feathers with comical white eyebrows. These owls prey on small mammals and large invertebrates. They live in open countryside habitats across Eurasia and North Africa.
Great Horned Owl
Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus
The Great Horned Owl is found throughout North America. It is approximately 18 to 25 inches in length, with a wingspan of up to five feet, and has gray-brown feathers with black barring.
Great Horned Owls are carnivorous birds that feed mainly on small mammals such as rabbits, rodents, and skunks. They prefer open woodlands or forest edges for their habitat and can be spotted perched atop tall trees or stones near these areas.
Great Horned Owls form strong pair bonds that last for more than one breeding season. Their nests are typically built high up in dead trees or on man-made structures like power poles or towers using an array of materials such as grasses, mosses, twigs, and fur collected by the male while the female builds the nest structure.
A notable characteristic of Great Horned Owls is their adaptability to urban habitats due to their intelligence which enables them to take advantage of human-provided resources such as discarded food scraps and gutters for nesting purposes. This makes them well-suited for life in North America where they inhabit many regions across the continent including cities and suburban areas.
Scientific Name: Asio otus
The Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) is a species of small owl found throughout North America. It is approximately 14 to 16 inches in length, with a wingspan of up to four feet, and has gray upper parts with white spots and darker streaks.
Long-eared Owls are carnivorous birds that feed mainly on small mammals such as voles, mice, shrews, and moles. They prefer open woodlands or forest edges for their habitat and can often be seen perched atop tall trees or stones near these areas.
Long-eared Owls form strong pair bonds that last for more than one breeding season. Their nests are typically built high up in dead trees or on man-made structures like power poles or towers using an array of materials such as grasses, mosses, twigs, and fur collected by the male while the female builds the nest structure.
A notable characteristic of Long-eared Owls is their camouflaging capability due to their light brown feathers which allow them to blend into their surroundings and remain undetected by predators and prey alike. This makes them well-suited for life in North America where they inhabit many regions across the continent including northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
Scientific Name: Strix aluco
Tawny owls, also called brown owls, have rounded head and body that is covered in red-brown feathers. They are the most common British owl species. Mice and voles make up the majority of their diet. They swoop down from trees, silently plucking them from the ground below. Tawny owls inhabit broad-leaved woodlands across temperate Europe.
Scientific Name: Lophostrix cristata
Crested owls have large, distinctive white ear tufts extending from their eyebrows, giving them a cute and fluffy appearance. Their back and wings are brown whilst their chest is also mottled with white. Crested owls feed primarily on large insects. These species live in tropical and subtropical moist forests. They range throughout Central and South America.
Great Gray Owl
Scientific Name: Strix nebulosa
Great gray owls boast a silver-gray plumage patterned with brown streaks. They have a white mark across their neck which resembles a bow tie, making it look like they are dressed in a handsome suits. They are the largest species of owl in length, reaching around 30 inches long. However, their thick plumage makes up most of their size. They hunt both day and night, feasting on small mammals. They inhabit evergreen forests distributed across the Northern Hemisphere.
Scientific Name: Bubo flavipes
The tawny-fish owl has a striking dark and light tawny brown streaked plumage. They have small, tousled ear tufts on either side of their head. Fish are their main food source, which they grab from the surface of the water with their talons. They live in subtropical and temperate forests that are in close proximity to rivers and lakes. They range across Asia from Nepal to China.
Scientific Name: Strix seloputo
Spotted wood owls have bright orange faces with large, ink-black eyes, giving them a cute appearance. They have a brown back and wings whilst their front is white with delicate chocolate brown barring. Their diet consists primarily of rats and mice. These birds frequent open forests and woodlands. They live throughout Southeast Asia including Thailand and Indonesia.
Southern White-Faced Owl
Scientific Name: Ptilopsis granti
Southern white-faced owls have a white face with a black border and big, orange eyes. They also have cute ear tufts and a feathered beak area. The rest of their plumage is grey, dabbed with white streaks. They hunt large insects as well as small mammals, birds, and reptiles. These birds inhabit dry woodland and savanna extending from Kenya to Namibia.
Cute Small Owl Breeds
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Scientific Name: Aegolius acadicus
Northern saw-whet owls are around 8 inches tall and have large, rounded heads. They have a mottled brown body and a spotted white head. They are nocturnal and hunt mainly for small mammals but supplement their diet with small birds and invertebrates. They inhabit forests across Southern Canada, Northwest United States, and Mexico.
Scientific Name: Glaucdium radiatum
Also called the barred jungle owlet, this species has a cute rounded head and densely barred brown and white plumage. They feed on insects, rodents, reptiles, and small birds. Jungle owlets favor moist, deciduous forest habitats and are native to the Indian Subcontinent.
Scientific Name: Athene cunicularia
These owls have small bodies, flat heads, and long legs which gives them a cute yet comical appearance. They have mottled brown plumage and a pale brown belly. They live in open habitats and run along the ground hunting insects and small vertebrates. They nest in burrows underground. These owls range throughout North and South America.
Northern Pygmy Owl
Scientific Name: Glaucidium californicum
These tiny owls are only around 6.5 inches long and resemble small balls of fluff. They have brown plumage coated with white speckles. Northern pygmy owls hunt during the day, feasting predominantly on birds. They live in montane forests across Northwest America.
Scientific Name: Micrathene whitneyi
Elf owls are the world’s smallest owls, averaging only 5 inches in length. Their plumage is mottled gray, brown, and white. Invertebrates such as moths and beetles make up the majority of their diet. These birds occupy desert habitats along Southwest America and Mexico.
Scientific Name: Athene brama
Spotted owlets appear round and fluffy, with grey-brown plumage dabbled with white spots. Their belly is white with brown bars and they have white eyebrows. These owls occupy open habitats such as farmland and urban areas, preying on insects and small invertebrates. Spotted owlets can be found across Asia.
Scientific Name: Aegolius funereus
Boreal owls are short and stocky with an overall brown plumage. They have white spots on their upper parts and a brown and white streaked belly. Small mammals constitute the majority of their diet. These owls occupy forests across North America and Europe.
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