12 Different Types of Owls in New Hampshire

types of owls in new hampshire
Photo by kalango do cerrado pic

There are many different types of owls in New Hampshire, and they can be divided into two main categories: those that live in woods and those that live in open country.

According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Granite State is home to nearly 300 species of birds, including 186 that consistently breed inside its borders. 

Given that New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in the union, that’s quite an accomplishment!

What’s more, the state is home to different species of owls. The following list will introduce the different types of owls in New Hampshire!

1. Eastern Screech-Owl

The Eastern Screech-Owl is the starter of our list of types of owls in New Hampshire and is a small owl native to the eastern United States. These owls are relatively common and can be found in forests, fields, and even some urban areas.

Screech-Owls get their name from their unique call, which is a trill that can last up to two seconds tomorrow. Screech-Owls are small owls, measuring only 8-10 inches in length. They have large heads and tufts of feathers on their ears. Their plumage is variable, but most Screech-Owls are gray, brown, or reddish in color.

Screech-Owls are mostly active at night but may also be active during the day. These owls hunt by perching on a branch and waiting for prey to come within range

2. Great Grey Owl

The scientific name for the great grey owl, the second on this list of the types of owls in New Hampshire, is Strix nebulosa. It is a large owl with a body length of up to 60 cm (24 in) and a wingspan of up to 152 cm (60 in). The great grey owl is one of the heaviest owls in North America, with males weighing up to 2.3 kg (5.1 lb) and females up to 3.6 kg (7.9 lb).

The great grey owl is found in boreal forests and taiga in the northern hemisphere. It is a very elusive owl and is rarely seen by humans. When it is seen, it is often mistaken for a ghost or a shadow due to its large size and gray plumage. The great gray owl is a powerful hunter, preying on small mammals such as rodents.

3. American Barn Owl

The American barn owl is a species of owl native to the United States. Barn owls are known for their distinctive heart-shaped faces and their hunters’ call, which sounds like “twit twoo.” Nocturnal predators hunt by silent flight, using their acute hearing to locate their prey.

Barn owls are found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and wetlands. They nest in cavities, often using old abandoned nests of other animals. American barn owls typically mate for life and can have up to six offspring at a time.

The American barn owl is a protected species in the United States and is considered to be of the least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This comes third on our list of the different types of owls in New Hampshire to know!

4. Great Horned Owl

Compared to the other types of owls in New Hampshire, the Great Horned Owl is a large and powerful bird of prey. They are expert hunters, and their sharp talons and beaks make them deadly predators. Great Horned Owls are found worldwide, one of the most common owl species in North America.

Great Horned Owls are named for their distinctive ear tufts, which are actually feathers. These ear tufts help to camouflage the owl and make it look like a branch or leaves. Great Horned Owls are mostly brown and white, with variations in coloration depending on the subspecies.

Great Horned Owls are nocturnal creatures that are very adept at hunting in the dark. Their keen eyesight and sharp hearing allow them to locate their prey even in the darkest night. Once they have spotted their prey, they

5. Barred Owl

The barred owl (Strix varia) is a medium-sized owl with dark brown or gray plumage and distinctive barring on the breast and belly. This owl is a member of the family Strigidae, which includes all owls. The barred owl is found in North and Central America, from southern Canada to Mexico. It is a relatively common owl, and its range is expanding.

The barred owl is a nocturnal hunter and prey upon small mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects. It hunts from perches or flying low over the ground, using its sharp claws and beak to kill its prey. This owl typically nests in trees but uses man-made structures like buildings and bridges.

The barred owl is not considered to be endangered or threatened. However, it is not left out of this list of the various types of owls in New Hampshire.

6. Snowy Owl

The snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large bird of prey that is native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. These striking owls are mostly white, with dark markings on their wings and tails.

Snowy owls are one of the largest types of owls in New Hampshire and can grow to a length of up to 26 inches. While these owls are usually found in the Arctic tundra, they will sometimes venture into more temperate climates in search of food. When they do, they are often seen hunting in open fields or along the edges of forests.

Snowy owls primarily eat small mammals such as rodents and hares, but they will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects. If you’re lucky enough to see a snowy owl in the wild, you’ll be treated to the sight of one of nature

7. Burrowing Owl

The burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged owl found throughout the Americas. Unlike most, burrowing owls are active during the day, although they will also hunt at night. These types of owls in New Hampshire get their name from their habit of living in burrows, which they often dig themselves.

Burrowing owls are found in various habitats, including grasslands, deserts, and suburban areas. These adaptable birds are currently doing well, but they were once endangered due to habitat loss and persecution. 

Thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers are now on the rise. If you’re lucky enough to see a burrowing owl, you’ll be treated to the sight of one of the most unique and interesting owls in the world.

8. Long-Eared Owl

The long-eared owl, on this list of the types of owls in New Hampshire, is a medium-sized owl with long ear tufts. It is a nocturnal hunter and feeds on small mammals, birds, and insects. The long-eared owl is found in woods and forest edges throughout much of North America and Europe.

This owl gets its name from the tufts of feathers on its head that resemble ears. The long-eared owl is brown or gray with white spots on its belly. It has a yellow beak and eyes that are dark brown in color.

The long-eared owl is a shy bird that is seldom seen. When it is seen, it is often mistaken for the more common short-eared owl.

9. Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) is an owl species found in open habitats worldwide. These owls get their name from their short ear tufts, which are located on the top of their head. Short-eared owls are medium-sized owls and have a wingspan of about 3 feet.

Short-eared owls are also one of the interesting types of owls in New Hampshire and are known for their hunting skills. These owls prey on small mammals and birds, which they locate by listening to the sound of their movement. 

Once they have located their prey, they will swoop down and grab it with their sharp talons. If you’re lucky enough to spot a short-eared owl in the wild, you’re sure to be impressed by this majestic bird.

10. Northern Saw-Whet Owl

The Northern Saw-Whet Owl is a small owl found in North America. It gets its name from its call, which sounds like a saw being sharpened on a whetstone. These owls are nocturnal hunters and mostly eat mice and voles.

Northern Saw-Whet Owls are about the size of a robin, with a round head and no ear tufts. They are brown or gray above and have white spots on their wings. The underparts are white with brown bars. Northern Saw-Whet Owls have yellow eyes and a black beak.

These are types of owls in New Hampshire that nest in trees, laying 2-5 eggs. The female incubates the eggs for 28 days while the male brings her food. The young owls fledge (leave the nest) at 4-5 weeks old and are independent at

11. Boreal Owl

Unlike the other owl species on this list, Boreal owls are not widely found in New Hampshire. In fact, they’re relatively rare in the northeastern United States. They are, however, seasonal winter visitors to the state, so if you happen to be there during the cooler months of the year and have a bit of luck on your side, you might spot one.

These birds are little and charming, with large heads and small ear tufts. However, the little white spots across the birds’ face disks are their most distinguishing trait. However, it is still considered one of the types of owls in New Hampshire. 

12. Northern Hawk-Owl

The northern hawk owl is the last but not least of the types of owls in New Hampshire. A long, pointed tail complements the oval-shaped body of the medium-sized bird.

Like the burrowing owl mentioned above, this species is most active during the day but will occasionally venture out at night. They are mainly found around wetlands and in open coniferous forests.


And there you have it: the different types of owls in New Hampshire! As you can see, the small state has a lot of owls, so make sure you see them while you’re there! All the best in your adventure!

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