Owls in Alabama

Alabama has about 10 owl species, though only 5 are native. Alabama has one of the hottest summers in the US, along with mild winters with relatively little snow. Despite the hot climate, owls remain common as the number of pine and coniferous forests is higher than in the rest of the country, serving as suitable homes for these birds. Some of the most commonly seen owls in the state are the Barn Owl, the Barred Owl, and the Eastern Screech-owl.

Owls in Alabama (AL)

List of Owls in Alabama

Name with SoundsAverage SizeStatusWhere Do They Live in the State?Mating Season
Small Owls
Eastern Screech-owl

Length: 6-10 inches
Wingspan: 18-24 inches
NativeCommon in wooded habitats across Alabama, including forests, parks, and suburban areas. Often observed in cities like Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and TuscaloosaLate winter to early summer (February to June)
Burrowing Owl

Length: 9-11 inches
Wingspan:  21-24 inches
AccidentalRare in Alabama, but prefers open grasslands, prairies, and agricultural areas. Other locations include coastal regions, fields, and pasturesLate winter to early spring (February to August)
Flammulated Owl

Length: 6.5-7.5 inches
Wingspan: 12-15 inches
AccidentalExtremely rare, occasionally spotted in coniferous forests in the northern part of the stateLate spring to early summer (mid-April to July)
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Length: 7 – 8 inches
Wingspan: 17-22 inches
AccidentalRare visitor to the state during winterSpring (March to April)
Large Owls
Barn Owl

Length: 12-16 inches 
Wingspan: 42-43 inches 
NativeExtremely common, with sightings regularly occurring in all 67 countiesYear-round, with peaks in late winter and spring (March to June)
Great Horned Owl

Length: 18-25 inches
Wingspan: 40-60 inches
NativeCommon in Alabama in both rural and urban areas. It is often seen in cities like Birmingham, Huntsville, and MontgomeryLate fall to early winter (November to January)
Barred Owl

Length: 16-24 inches Wingspan: 16-24 inchesNativeCommon throughout Alabama, with sightings in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and other citiesLate winter to Spring (February to April)
Snowy Owl

Length: 20-27 inches
Wingspan: 49-58 inches
AccidentalVery rare in the state, mostly here due to irruptions. Occasionally shows up in southern AlabamaVaries by region and based on prey availability (any time between May and September)
Long-eared Owl

Length: 13-16 inches
Wingspan: 24-40 inches
AccidentalRare but seen occasionally during the colder months in wooded areasLate winter to Spring (February to April)
Short-eared Owl

Length: 13-17 inches
Wingspan: 33-43 inches 
NativeMigratory, seen in Alabama during winter months in open grasslands and marshesVaries, often in early spring (March to September)

Where Can You See Owls in Alabama

In northern Alabama, Monte Sano State Park has several owls, such as the Eastern Screech Owl, the Great Horned Owl, and the Barred Owl. These owls are also observable in Oak Mountain State Park. The Burrowing Owl can be seen in the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center at Auburn University.

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