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The Western Spotted Owl (also called the Northern Spotted Owl) is an owl that lives in dense, old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada. This non-migrating bird is an endangered species. Their numbers are decreasing because of a loss of habitat.

Anatomy: This owl is 17-19 inches (43-48 cm) long. The wing and back feathers of the Spotted Owl are brown with buff-colored spots. The top of the head and the hind-neck are brown with white spots. The under parts are whitish. The abdomen and the chest are barred with brown.

Diet: Owls are carnivores (meat-eaters). Spotted Owls are nocturnal and hunt at night. They use a keen sense of sight to find prey in the dark (owls see mostly in black and white). They have an acute sense of hearing which also helps in finding meals. Owls are stealth hunters; they can easily sneak up on their prey since their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. Owls hunt and eat rodents, insects, frogs, and birds. The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators.

Nest and Eggs: Spotted Owls build a nest in the cavity of a tree or stump, usually the old nest of a squirrel or hawk. In each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time), females lay 1-4 white eggs.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Chordata, Class Aves (birds), Order Strigiformes (Owls), Family , Genus Strix, Species S. occidentalis.


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