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Strigiformes > Strigidae

Spotted Owl

Strix occidentalis

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Identification

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Medium-sized owl typically found in mountainous regions with mixed conifers and oaks. Overall brown with bold white spots on belly and back. Black eyes, unlike most other owls; main confusion species is Barred Owl. Spotted is well-named, with much more obvious spots on chest and belly than Barred Owl, and lacks distinct vertical stripes. Also note voice: one hoot, followed by a pair of hoots, followed by a final single hoot. Two separate populations: birds along the Pacific coast and the Sierra Nevada average darker, richer brown than birds further south and inland.

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Learn more about Spotted Owl from…

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