There are eight owl species that you may spot in Massachusetts. They’re found in all sorts of habitats, including dense forests, wood lots, swamps, marshes, grasslands, and even residential neighborhoods.
Unlike the barred owl, this owl is more common from the Connecticut River east, as it prefers deciduous forests. They can be heard calling in late winter and early spring. Learn More
Saw-whets are the smallest in the eastern US at 7 - 8 inches long. Although they're not often seen (or heard) in the wild, an active banding program has banded a good population in Massachusetts. Learn More
This seldom-seen Massachusetts owl prefers conifer forests and dense thickets. Few sightings of the long-eared owl have been recorded in the state in the last 2 decades. Learn More
Barn owls are very recognizable, with their white, heart-shaped face. They prefer to hunt in open country. They readily nest in abandoned structures with convenient openings. Our Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on Marth'a Vineryard has a barn owl nest box under the eaves. Learn More
These large owls breed in the Arctic, but can often be seen during their migrations spring and fall. Norman Smith, Director of Mass Audubon's Blue Hills Trailside Museum, runs a Snowy owl research program. You can also see a Snowy owl in a large outdoor flight cage at Blue Hills Trailside Museum.