Flammulated Owl - A Small & Mighty Hunter of the Night

by Chris Anderson on January 26, 2024
When it comes to birds of prey, the Flammulated Owl may not be the most well-known or impressive of the bunch, but this small and elusive owl packs a punch
regarding hunting prowess. In this blog post, we'll explore the main characteristics of the Flammulated Owl, including its height and weight, where it lives, what it eats, and how it reproduces. We'll also share one fantastic fact about this fascinating bird.

Height and Weight
The Flammulated Owl is a small owl, measuring only 6.5 to 7.5 inches long and weighing just 1 to 2 ounces. Despite their diminutive size, these owls are fierce hunters and can take down prey much larger than themselves.

The Flammulated Owl is found in the western United States, primarily in the Rocky Mountains
and parts of Mexico and Central America. These owls prefer to live in dense forests with plenty of trees and underbrush, where they can easily hide from predators and hunt for prey.

Like most owls, the Flammulated Owl is a carnivore and feeds primarily on insects and small mammals. Their diet consists of various prey, including moths, beetles, and rodents. They are also known to eat small birds and reptiles on occasion.

Flammulated Owls are monogamous and mate for life. The breeding season typically begins in late May or early June and lasts until August. During this time, the male Flammulated Owl will court the female with various displays of affection, including bringing her food and calling her from a nearby tree. Once the female accepts the male's advances, they will build a nest together in a tree cavity or abandoned woodpecker hole. The female will lay 2 to 4 eggs, which both parents will take turns incubating for about a month. After the eggs hatch, the parents will continue to care for their young until they are old enough to leave the nest.

Amazing Fact
One of the most amazing things about the Flammulated Owl is its ability to fly almost silently. This is due to the specialized feathers on their wings, which are serrated at the edges and help to muffle the sound of their flight. This makes them incredibly stealthy hunters, allowing them to sneak up on their prey without being detected.

Another remarkable fact about Flammulated Owls is an unusually large windpipe that allows it to make a sound an surprisingly low-pitched hoot. That results in sounding like a much larger owl! That adaptation keeps the tiny owl from becoming prey to much bigger predators!

While the Flammulated Owl may not be the most well-known or impressive bird of prey, it is a fascinating and essential part of the ecosystem. From its small size and mighty hunting abilities to its unique reproductive habits and silent flight, the Flammulated Owl is a true marvel of the natural world.