Northern Hawk Owl
Surnia ulula (Strigidae), commonly known as Northern Hawk Owl, is a bird of boreal forests distinctive among owls for its morphology and behavior.
This species is found primarily in North America, but has also spread through northern Russia and Scandinavia.
Adults have a long tapered tail, short pointed wings, face white, with black border, crown and forehead dark with many white spots, and underparts white with heavy brown bars.
Surnia ulula rarely walks on the ground. A waddle-like motion characterizes its walk. Its flight is “rapid and strong.” When moving from one perch to another, it quickly dives down, stays low, and then abruptly flies up to the new perch.
The Northern Hawk Owl participates in self-maintaining behavior through preening and snow-bathing. These animals are primarily diurnal but may also be active at night. A male establishes its territory a few weeks before nesting and attracts a female to the nest site through an Advertising Call.
The Northern Hawk Owl can detect prey by sight at a distance of up to 800 meters (half a mile). Though it is thought to detect prey primarily by sight, the Northern Hawk Owl can find and seize prey under 30 cm (1 foot) of snow.
Photo credit: ©L. Mikonranta
Locality: Kortepohja, Jyväskylä, Finland