Owls in Indiana

One of the eight states comprising the Great Lake Region, Indiana has quite a few diverse landscapes, with hills, kettle lakes, sand dunes in the north, valleys, and rugged terrain with exposed bedrock in the south. 9 owls make their home in this state, including the ubiquitous Great Horned Owl, the rare Barn Owl, and the extremely adaptable Barred Owl.

As indicated above, the Barn Owl is becoming a bit of a rarity in Indiana with only 43 nests recorded in recent times. This is mainly due to a loss of the grassland habitats where these owls usually nest.

Owls in Indiana (IN)

List of Owls in Indiana

NameAverage SizeStatusWhere Do They Live in the StateMating Season
Small Owls
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Length: 7 – 8 inches
Wingspan: 17-22 inches
NativeCommon in forested areas of Indiana like Hoosier National Forest and Yellowwood State ForestSpring (March to April)
Eastern Screech Owl Length: 6-10 inches
Wingspan: 18-24 inches
NativePermanent residents commonly seen throughout the entire state, with sightings in Brown County State Park and Indiana Dunes National ParkFrom late winter to early spring (Between February and April)
Burrowing Owl
Length: 9-11 inches
Wingspan:  21-24 inches
AccidentalWas once common but has become relatively rare in the state, with most sightings being those of vagrantsLate winter to early spring (February to August)
Large Owls
Barn Owl Length: 12-16 inches
Wingspan: 42-43 inches 
NativeVery common in southern Indiana in places like Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area and Muscatatuck National Wildlife RefugeYear-round, with peaks in late winter and spring (March to June)
Great Horned Owl Length: 18-25 inches
Wingspan: 40-60 inches
NativeExtremely common throughout the state, especially in the western part of the state in places like Prophetstown State ParkLate fall to early winter (November to January)
Barred Owl Length: 16-24 inches
Wingspan: 16-24 inches
NativeWhile probably the most common owl in Indiana, most Barred Owl sightings take place in the northeastern part of the state, including towns like GenevaLate winter to spring (February to April)
Short-eared Owl
Length: 13-17 inches
Wingspan: 33-43 inches 
NativeCommon in the southern part of the state, with sightings taking place in towns like Columbia, Elberfield, and HartVaries, often in early spring (March to June, peaking in April)
Snowy Owl Length: 20-27 inches
Wingspan: 49-58 inches
NativeFairly common during winter in northern Indiana, around Lake MichiganVaries by region and based on prey availability (any time between May and September)
Long-eared Owl
Length: 13-16 inches
Wingspan: 24-40 inches
NativeLives in forests and woodlands throughout the state in places like Turkey Run and Shades State ParkFrom late winter to early spring (around February to April)

Where Can You See Owls in Indiana

In the southern part of Indiana, Hoosier National Forest, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, and Brown County State Park are great places to see owls, while Prophetstown State Park is home to many owl species in the northeast.

Subscribe our newsletter

Enter your email here to stay updated with the animal kingdom