Owls in Hawaii

There aren’t many owls in Hawaii, with only the Pueo or the Hawaiian Short-eared Owl being the only native owl species. However, the Barn Owl has made its home in Hawaii, adapting well to the conditions there. The Snowy Owl occasionally visits due to an overall rise in global temperature. While relatively hardy compared to other native Hawaiian birds, the Pueo suffers from a disease called “Sick Owl Syndrome” (SOS), which has begun to cause a decline in its population.

Owls in Hawaii (HI)

List of Owls in Hawaii

NameAverage SizeStatusWhere Do They Live in the StateMating Season
Barn Owl
Length: 12-16 inches
Wingspan: 42-43 inches 
AccidentalThese owls have adapted well and are seen throughout Hawaii, with sightings in Maalaea, Makawao, Kula, etcYear-round, with peaks in late winter and spring (March to June)
Pueo Length: 15-17 inches
Wingspan: 38-42 inches 
NativeSee throughout the forests and woodlands of the Big IslandVaries, often in early spring (March to June, peaking in April)
Snowy Owl
Length: 20-27 inches
Wingspan: 49-58 inches
AccidentalRare migrants, however they have been spotted in Kona and MolokaiVaries by region and based on prey availability (any time between May and September)

Where Can You See Owls in Hawaii

Despite Hawaii being home to only a few owl species, there are many places to see them in the wild if one’s interested. The Barn Owl can be spotted in Ka’ena Point, which also used to be the home to the native Pueo, though it appears to have been extirpated with only two sightings in the last decade. But the Pueo is still seen in places like Hosmer Grove in Haleakalā.

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