The spotted owl is a large, dark-eyed owl of the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest and the wooded canyons of the desert Southwest. Because of the spotted owl’s reliance on old-growth woodland, environmentalists and the timber logging industry have clashed over preserving habitat for this gentle species.
Spotted owls resemble barred owls in that both species lack ear tufts and have large, all-dark eyes. In areas where the two species’ ranges come into contact, barred owls tend to out-compete spotteds, which could present another conservation problem in the future.
Spotted owls make a deep hooting call that carries well in its preferred habitat. Also heard are a series of shrieks and yelps among mated pairs and during territorial squabbles between pairs.
Hear the spotted owl: