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Owls and Goatsuckers

About the Owls

There are approximately 125 species in the world with 19 species found in United States. They are primarily noctural hunters who rely on their sharp talons, hooked beak, large eyes and flat round facial disk that helps them hear, to help with their hunting. Some species of owl are very widespread such as the Barn Owl and the Great Horned Owl, while others like the Elf Owl are very restricted in their habitat. The Spotted Owl has become famous for representing the battle between preserving the mature coniferous forests that it needs to survive, or harvesting forests on a continual basis to supply resources for our economy.


Order: Strigiformes

Family: Tytonidae
Genus: Tyto
Barn Owl

Family: Strigidae
Genus: Asio
Long-earred Owl
Short-eared Owl

Genus: Strix
Spotted Owl
Barred Owl

Genus: Bubo
Great Horned Owl

Genus: Athene
Burrowing Owl

Genus: Nyctea
Snowy Owl
Genus: Otus
Western Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl

Genus: Aegolius
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Genus: Glaucidium
Northern Pygmy Owl

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About the Goatsuckers

One of the strangest groups of birds found in the United States, the name Goatsuckers goes back to Aristotle and is probably the result of goat herders who, while tending their flocks, would see these silent insectivorous birds that would feed at night. There are 70 species of this order found in the world, 8 of which can be found in the US.

Order:  Caprimulgiformes

Family: Caprimulgidae

Genus: Phalaenoptilus

Common Poorwill

Genus: Chordeiles
Common Nighthawk
Lesser Nighthawk