Owl ID Guide

There are at least 250 species of owls in the world. This guide will help you identify the 20 species of owls that breed in the United States and Canada. To learn more, click on any owl, or click here for general natural history of owls.

When trying to identify an owl, note these field tips:

  • Whether the owl has tufts or is round-headed
  • Eye and bill color
  • Plumage color and other distinct markings
  • Relative size of the owl
  • Details of the owl's habitat
  • Distribution of the owl in guide books