8 Types of Owls in Georgia

types of owls in georgia
Owl” by Mark AC Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Owls are some of the most majestic creatures in the animal kingdom and are a common sight in Georgia. From the tiny elf owl to the large barred owl, there are several types of Owls in Georgia. 

In our blog post, we will explore the different types of owls in Georgia, their habitats, and what sets each species apart.

Read on to learn more about these amazing types of Owls in Georgia!

1. Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl is first on our list of types of Owls in Georgia. It is a species of owl found in Georgia and throughout the Americas. These types of Owls in Georgia are known for their large size and distinct appearance, with prominent ear tufts and yellow eyes. 

The Great Horned Owl is an opportunistic predator, able to hunt small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. They are most active at night but can also be seen during the day. 

Great Horned Owls typically make their nests in tree cavities or on cliffs, making them difficult to spot in the wild. These types of Owls in Georgia are so widespread and well-adapted to different environments, so they are considered an important part of Georgia’s wildlife.

2. The Barred Owl

The Barred Owl is also on our list of types of Owls in Georgia. It is a type of owl found throughout much of Georgia. It has a brown, mottled body with white streaks along its chest and stomach. 

It also has two distinct dark stripes across its eyes, which gives it its namesake. Barred Owls prefer to inhabit forests and wooded wetlands but can also be found in nearby areas such as marshes and fields. Its diet consists mainly of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. They are nocturnal, so they hunt at night when most other animals are sleeping. 

During the day, they roost in trees and are often seen perching atop a branch or hunting from a low perch. Barred owls have a distinctive call that consists of a series of hollow-sounding hoots that sound like “who cooks for you?”. 

Barred owls are among the few owl species common throughout Georgia. They provide an important ecological role by preying on small rodents, which helps keep population numbers in check. Barred owls can also be spotted in cities, connecting urban and wild habitats.

3. Long-eared Owl

The Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) is a medium-sized owl native to Georgia. They are easily recognizable by their yellow eyes and long, prominent ear tufts. The Long-eared Owl is dark brown in color with spotted white and dark streaks across its chest. 

These types of Owls in Georgia are most commonly found in open woodlands and brush areas but may also inhabit city parks and other open habitats. Their diet comprises small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews.

During the day, the Long-eared Owl can be seen perched atop trees or telephone poles and will often roost together in groups. These birds can be heard calling at night with a series of soft, muffled hoots. 

They also migrate during winter, though they remain in Georgia for most of the year. If you’re looking for a unique wildlife experience, watch for these magnificent types of Owls in Georgia!

4. Northern Saw-whet Owl

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is the smallest of the Georgia owl species. This small nocturnal owl is found in coniferous and deciduous forests throughout the state. They have yellow eyes, white eyebrows, and rust-colored breasts. 

The call of the Northern Saw-whet Owl is a sharp tooth or series of notes, often repeated several times. It has a unique hunting method of “perch-hunting,” where it will sit on a branch and wait for its prey to pass by.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is an elusive creature that is hard to spot in the wild. They are most active at night but can sometimes be spotted during the day if you’re lucky. The best way to find them is to listen for their distinctive call, often heard in the early evening or morning.

5. Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large owl native to the arctic regions of North America, Eurasia, and northern Europe. In Georgia, they are seen mainly during winter, although they have been known to pass through the area in spring or fall. 

These large white types of Owls in Georgia have yellow eyes and a distinct black “bowtie” pattern around the neck. They are usually found near open fields, marshes, and coasts, where they can hunt for small mammals such as lemmings. They can also be seen perched atop trees or posts. Snowy Owls prefer to avoid humans, so it’s best to keep your distance if you spot one.

6. Short-eared Owl

The Short-eared Owl is a species of owl found throughout the United States and Canada. In Georgia, they are most common in the coastal plains and Piedmont regions. These types of Owls in Georgia typically have yellow eyes, long wings, and mottled brown plumage. 

They hunt daily and feed on rodents, small birds, and insects. Their calls are often heard during the early morning and evening breeding season. Short-eared Owls prefer open areas such as fields, marshes, and grasslands.

They are adaptable and can also be found near farms and suburban areas. They use their long wings to glide through the air and to maneuver quickly when chasing prey. These types of Owls in Georgia are also known for their impressive displays of courtship, which can include undulating flight patterns and loud calls.

7. Burrowing Owl

The Burrowing Owl is one of the more unique owls in Georgia. It is usually found in open, semi-arid grasslands, shrublands, and pastures where it can make its home in the ground. 

The types of Owls in Georgia are active at night and during the day, but they prefer to hunt during dawn and dusk. They feed on large insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. 

Burrowing Owls are small owls with yellow eyes and long legs; they have a wingspan of approximately 20 inches and can reach up to 11 inches in height. Their feathers are light brown in color with white spots. These birds are quite sociable, often gathering up to 40 birds in flocks. 

They’re also known for being very vocal and loud during the night. Burrowing Owls live throughout Georgia, particularly in the northern parts of the state. To find these amazing types of Owls in Georgia, you must look for their nests in prairie areas and other flat grassland environments.

8. Eastern Screech Owl

Lastly, The Eastern Screech Owl is a common small owl in Georgia. It is characterized by its distinct call, which consists of a descending series of trills. They prefer to live in open woodlands and are typically seen in the early morning or late evening hours. They feed on small mammals, birds, and insects. 

These types of Owls in Georgia can also be identified by their rusty brown coloration, white spots or streaks on their body, large yellow eyes, and a round head with no ear tufts. Eastern Screech Owls in Georgia generally nest between April and May, laying two to six eggs. They are cavity nesters and often utilize abandoned woodpecker holes for nesting sites. 

Protecting these cavities from being disturbed by humans or other predators is important so these owls can raise their young successfully. Georgia’s Eastern Screech Owl population is strong and remains stable.


If you want to spot some owls in Georgia, you’re lucky! Georgia has various owl species, from the Barn Owl to the Barred Owl.

In our blog post, we have explored some of the different types of Owls in Georgia and their habitat and behavior. I hope you’ve read to learn more about these majestic types of Owls in Georgia!

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