Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus)

Order Family Genus Specie
Strigiformes Strigidae Aegolius Aegolius funereus


It is a small owl, similar to Little Owl (Athene noctua), with similar plumage but larger and squarer head. Chocolate brown back, dotted with white spots and lower parts of dirty white, streaked with dark brown. There are variations in color between adults, some being more grayish individuals while others have more brownish tones. The facial disk is grey white, clearly defined, and the tail short brown above and streaked with thin white lines. Their legs are feathered to the base of the nails, which are black. The eyes are yellow.

In flight, the owl differs by its unhurried and undulating flight. If you find it perched, the preference for very close forest areas can help to differentiate it from a Little Owl.


Coniferous forests above 1,500 m. It occupy those with old trees and glades.

Status y distribution

Settled on the peninsula, its population is estimated in 200 pairs. It is found exclusively in the Pyrenees.


Very nocturnal, usually rests during the day perched among the branches of a conifer, which makes it difficult to sighting.

They don’t seem to be loyal to the partner or to the nest, changing them again and again each breeding season.


Mainly based on small mammals, occasionally preys on small birds and insects.


The breeding season begins with the year, making the lay inside tree’s hollows. They have about 5 eggs (sometimes they can lay up to 10) which are incubated for 25-27 days. The juvenile plumage is brown. They leave the nest around the month of age.

Conservation Status

(Red Book of Birds in Spain)

Almost Endangered
Of Special Interest (National Catalog of Threatened Species of Spain)