Owls in Kansas

Kansas is home to 11 species of owls, 9 of which are native to the state. These owls can be found in habitats that suit them, and Kansas has a variety of these habitats. For instance, the western two-thirds of Kansas are part of the Great Plains, which provide great living conditions to the Burrowing Owl and the Barn Owl. On the other hand, the eastern part of the state is at a higher elevation, so owls like the Eastern Screech Owl and the Barred Owl are more likely to be seen here.

Owls in Kansas (KS)

List of Owls in Kansas

NameAverage SizeStatusWhere Do They Live in the State?Mating Season
Small Owls
Burrowing Owl Length: 9-11 inches Wingspan: 21-24 inchesNativeSeen in the western part of the state in the summer as well as in places like Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife AreaLate winter to early spring (February to August)
Northern Saw-whet Owl Length: 7 – 8 inches Wingspan: 17-22 inchesNativeRarely seen, with most sightings taking place during the colder months in places like Konza Prairie Biological Station and Tallgrass Prairie National PreserveSpring (March to April)
Flammulated Owl Length: 6.5-7.5 inches
Wingspan: 12-15 inches
AccidentalOccasional vagrantLate spring to early summer (mid-April to July)
Western Screech Owl Length: 8.7 inches
Wingspan: 22 inches
AccidentalExtremely rare, with a few sightings in Morton County along the Cimarron RiverLate winter to early summer (February to May)
Eastern Screech Owl Length: 6-10 inches
Wingspan: 18-24 inches
NativeCommonly seen in the woods of eastern Kansas. Occasionally seen in the western part of the state, though it is restricted to the plainsFrom late winter to early spring (Between February and April)
Large Owls
Barn Owl Length: 12-16 inches
Wingspan: 42-43 inches 
NativeExtremely common, especially in the western part of the stateYear-round, with peaks in late winter and spring (March to June)
Great Horned Owl Length: 18-25 inches
Wingspan: 40-60 inches
NativeCommon throughout Kansas, especially around Clinton Lake and Pomona LakeLate fall to early winter (November to January)
Barred Owl Length: 16-24 inches
Wingspan: 16-24 inches
NativeFairly common, especially in the eastern part of the state along the Kansas River corridorLate winter to spring (February to April)
Short-eared Owl Length: 13-17 inches
Wingspan: 33-43 inches 
NativeUncommon, flocking in small numbers during winter in places like Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, Jamestown Wildlife Area, and Konza Prairie Biological StationVaries, often in early spring (March to June, peaking in April)
Snowy Owl Length: 20-27 inches
Wingspan: 49-58 inches
NativeMigrates to Kansas when a lack of food forces further south out of its rangeVaries by region and based on prey availability (any time between May and September)
Long-eared Owl Length: 13-16 inches
Wingspan: 24-40 inches
NativeUncommon, but has been seen in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and along the Kansas River CorridorFrom late winter to early spring (around February to April)

Where Can You See Owls in Kansas

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and Cimarron National Grassland have several ‘prairie dog towns’ home to the Burrowing Owl, while in the northwest, Scott State Park is often visited by the Eastern Screech Owl. Also, Wilson State Park is a great place to see the Barred Owl.

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