9 Different Types of Owls in Vermont

Different Types of Owls in Vermont
Owl” by Farid Fleifel is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Vermont is home to many species of wildlife, including several different types of owls.

Whether you’re a birder, a wildlife enthusiast, or just curious about what types of owls in Vermont exist, it can be exciting to learn about the different species of owls that inhabit the area. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at the different types of owls in Vermont that you might see and some interesting facts about each.

So keep reading to learn more about the amazing feathered creatures that call the Green Mountain State their home.

1. Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl is a beautiful bird of prey that lives in northern regions and can be spotted in Vermont. These birds of prey are majestic creatures with white feathers and dark eyes. They can be seen during winter when they migrate south to find food sources. They prefer to hunt small rodents and other small mammals but can also take advantage of the abundance of birds that live in the area during the warmer months. 

While Snowy Owls can be seen throughout the state, their preferred habitat is in areas with open fields and lots of available food. These birds typically nest on the ground, but they may build their nests in trees if the terrain allows it. They are types of owls in Vermont that also enjoy perching on rocks, power lines, and other elevated observation points. 

Spotting a Snowy Owl in its natural habitat is a sight to behold and provides bird watchers with an incredible experience. This owl species is also found in other parts of the United States, such as Minnesota and Alaska, but it is most commonly seen in Vermont during its migratory season.

2. Long-Eared Owl

The Long-Eared Owl is an owl found in the woodlands and forests of Vermont. This bird has relatively long ear tufts, a light brown and gray body, and dark eyes. This owl is active mainly at night and is usually heard calling its distinctive “who who who” sound as it looks for prey. 

The Long-Eared Owl is known to migrate south for the winter months and can sometimes be seen from the early fall until late spring. The Long-Eared Owl can be found throughout the state of Vermont and is quite common in the boreal forest. It prefers areas of dense coniferous or deciduous trees, where it can hunt rodents and other small mammals. 

Also, it is one of the different types of owls in Vermont that has been known to eat smaller birds, insects, and occasionally reptiles. The Long-Eared Owl is an important predator in the environment, helping to keep populations of small mammals in check.

3. Short-Eared Owl

The Short-Eared Owl is not left out of this list of several types of owls in Vermont. This type of owl is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 14 inches in length with a wingspan of up to 40 inches. It is also characterized by its yellow eyes, grayish-brown feathers, and white spots on its wings and tail. 

The Short-Eared Owl prefers open habitats such as meadows, fields, and tundra where they can hunt their prey. In Vermont, they are most likely to be seen during summer when they migrate from their wintering grounds in the southern states. During the day, this owl will often perch in trees or on the ground near its hunting area. 

The Short-Eared Owl is an opportunistic hunter and will feed on small mammals such as voles and mice. These birds also eat small birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and fish. They often hunt at night and use their exceptional hearing and vision to locate their prey. 

The Short-Eared Owl is a vocal species and will make various calls, including hoots, trills, and whistles. They can be heard throughout Vermont in the evening hours and during migration times.

4. Northern Saw-Whet Owl

The northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) is one of the smallest types of owls in Vermont, with adults measuring just 8-9 inches tall and weighing 3-5 ounces. These small, nocturnal birds have round heads and short tails, and they can be found throughout the state, inhabiting deciduous and coniferous forests. They are especially well adapted to Vermont’s winter weather, as they can lower their body temperature to conserve energy during cold nights. 

During the day, they roost in cavities, hollow trees, or woodpecker holes. Regarding diet, northern saw-whet owls feed primarily on small rodents, like mice and voles. They usually hunt from a perch, swooping down to catch prey on the ground. 

In addition, they also occasionally eat insects, reptiles, and other small birds. As a result of their broad diet and habitat range, they are one of the most abundant owl species in Vermont.

5. Barn Owl

The Barn Owl is a common sight throughout Vermont, and its large yellow eyes, white heart-shaped face, and brown spotted feathers make it easily recognizable. This nocturnal bird of prey can be seen hunting at night in open meadows, fields, and pastures. With a wingspan that averages nearly three feet wide, the Barn Owl is one of the largest types of owls in Vermont. 

The Barn Owl can be found nesting in barns, abandoned buildings, caves, and tree cavities, and it typically feeds on small mammals like voles, mice, and shrews. The Barn Owl is an important part of Vermont’s ecosystem, helping regulate rodent populations and providing valuable food sources for predators like hawks and owls.

6. Barred Owl

The Barred Owl is a common sight in the forests of Vermont. It has a distinctive pattern of brown and white stripes, with a white face and yellow eyes. This species is most active at night, so you’re more likely to hear its loud hooting call than actually see it. 

During the day, Barred Owls, which are types of owls in Vermont, typically perch on low branches in the trees. They feed mainly on small mammals, such as mice and voles, but they also eat frogs, birds, and insects. The Barred Owl is well adapted to the dense forest of Vermont and can often be found in city parks and gardens. 

The Barred Owl is easily identified by its vocalizations, which include a series of deep hoots. These birds are usually very vocal during the breeding season when they advertise their presence with loud calls. 

If you’re lucky enough to spot a Barred Owl, you might be able to observe it for some time as these birds don’t tend to fly away quickly. They may even stay put when disturbed, providing an excellent opportunity for birdwatchers to get a good look at them!

7. Eastern Screech-Owl

The Eastern Screech-Owl is one of the most common types of owls in Vermont. It can be found in the state’s woodlands, farmlands, and urban areas. These small owls have grey or red-brown feathers and yellow eyes. 

In addition to this, they hunt mostly at night and are usually active from April to October. During the day, these types of owls in Vermont sleep in a tree cavity or nest box. The Eastern Screech-Owl eats small mammals, such as mice, voles, bats, insects, amphibians, and birds. 

They use their camouflaged feathers to stay hidden during the day, but their iconic “whiny” vocalization can be heard at night. The Eastern Screech-Owl is a popular species for birders, as it is relatively easy to spot and photograph.

8. Great Gray Owl

The Great Gray Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, and it can be found in Vermont. These majestic birds have a wingspan of up to five feet, and they are covered in a mottled gray plumage with white spots. The Great Gray Owl is usually found in open coniferous forests, as it prefers to avoid human habitation. 

During winter months, these owls may even venture into residential areas to hunt for food. While the Great Gray Owl is rarely seen, those lucky enough to spot it should be sure to take in its beautiful features. If you want to know the amazing types of owls in Vermont, this is one of them!

9. Great Horned Owl

Types of owls in Vermont? The great horned owl is the most common type of owl you will find in Vermont. It is a large owl with two distinct ear tufts on its head and prominent “horns.” This owl can be found in various habitats, such as forests, grasslands, and marshes. 

These owls are solitary hunters, preying mainly on small mammals, insects, and other birds. They typically hunt from a perch at night and have excellent hearing, allowing them to detect prey below them in the dark. The great horned owl has a loud, deep hoot that can be heard for miles. Its distinctive call has earned it the nickname “the tiger of the sky.”


Vermont is home to a variety of different species of owls. These unique birds often soar through the night sky, hunting and protecting their territories. 

Some of the most common types of owls in Vermont include the Barred Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, and Great Horned Owl. Above, we explored the characteristics of these different species and discussed where you could find them in the state of Vermont.

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