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Scientific Name

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The boreal owl, Aegolius funereus, is a small owl that breeds primarily in Canada, Alaska, the western United States, and northern Eurasia. It winters throughout its breeding range, but some individuals may move south for the winter. The boreal owl is rare in Utah, where it occurs in the Wasatch Mountains, the Bear River Range, and the Uinta Mountains. The species was not known to breed in Utah until recently, when a nest was found in Wasatch County.

In Utah, boreal owls prefer mature coniferous forest habitats. Nests are located in cavities (such as holes in trees). Eggs are laid in the spring; the average clutch size is five. The female incubates the eggs for approximately one month. Young fledge at about four weeks of age, and become independent at about six weeks of age. Boreal owls are nocturnal, and they eat primarily small mammals, although birds and insects are also consumed.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.