Hawk owl


Hawk owls breed on the coniferous forest belt around the northern hemisphere. Even in Finland it is a northern species, not to be found in the southern parts of the country. Hawk owls live mostly in open coniferous forests, and also, especially in the north, birch-tree covered mountain areas. Because hawk owls nest in holes, they prefer areas with dead standing pine trees or hollow tree-trunks. The hawk owl is active during the day. Its range of distribution depends on the number of its main source of food, namely, small rodents. When food is scarce, hawk owls migrate, and this is when the northern species can be found all the way down in the southernmost parts of Finland also.


Like our other owls, also the hawk owl is a protected species in Finland.


In the autumn, as the rodents are scarce, the hawk owls migrate to areas with more nutrition available. When the food is abundant, the hawk owls store part of their prey for a rainy day.

Hawk owl

Surnia ulula




SIZE: 210-380g, wingspan: 75-80cm, females larger than males.

BREEDING: Female hawk owl lays 5-6 eggs in April-May, incubation period 28-30 days and nights.

LIFESPAN: According to ringing data, the oldest hawk owl has lived to over 8 years of age.

Did you know that the English name for the hawk owl describes the hawk owl well? The hawk owl is day active like hawks, and even its appearance resembles that of a little hawk: the colouring of its face gives it a sharp look differing from that of the softer look of owls with more rounded heads.