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Val123's avatar

What kind of owl is this?

Asked by Val123 (12704points) June 20th, 2010

Last week four baby owls showed up in our back yard, playing in a big water puddle! It was just TOO cool! Rick got this video

Here are a couple of other pics

I like This one
It makes me laugh! The little guy running away looks like a furbie or a gremlin or something!

Anyway, what kind of owls are they?

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18 Answers

MacBean's avatar

ahahahaha They look so angry!

Where do you live? That’ll be helpful in narrowing down what they could be.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Could it be an elf owl? I can’t tell how big your owls are. It would also be helpful to know where you live. I’m not the greatest with identifying birds, even though I have always really enjoyed bird watching. Your pics and video were really great, though… how cute!

Val123's avatar

@MacBean South Central Kansas. I know we have ginormous barn owls around here, because I saw one once (in a barn). And I hear owls hooting at the lake, but those probably aren’t barn owls..

@TheOnlyNeffie Well…they were just babies, but that’s a good guess. I go look that up. Thanks.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Being juveniles, it’s possible they have a different morphology than the adults. Not certain on this, but it’s a possibility that might complicate identification.

That said, they are ADORABLE, omg. I love owls.

Could it be eastern screech owls?

MacBean's avatar

Definitely not barn owls. @MissAnthrope‘s suggestion looks like a good one! I was looking at Northern Hawk Owls and wondering if that’s what they could be.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@MacBean – Good call! The barring on the chest matches, for sure. I just was a bit stumped by the little horns.

MacBean's avatar

Ooh! I found a list of birds of Kansas! If you scroll down, there’s a nice little list of owls.

Val123's avatar

You rock @MacBean

Could be This

I’m betting it’s this tho…..the eyes on my owl are really round like the short eared (and long eared) owl. Like @MissAnthrope said, however, they could look completely different as adults.

Val123's avatar

The more I look at it, the more certain I am that it’s a “short eared owl.” From Wiki: The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus).....The word flammeus is Latin for “flaming, or the color of fire”.[3] The red color on the back of the owl in the video was striking. I also have this shot. Totally out of focus, but gives great color

MacBean's avatar

I really can’t stop LOLing at how pissed off they look. I love them.

Val123's avatar

I know!! Blew me away when I realized what I was looking at in my own back yard! I love that one pic of the one running away. Looks like a furbie!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It’s true, if they are babies then they probably are not elf owls.. if I remember, elf owls are the smallest of all.. only about 6” tall full grown. These pics make me really smiley though. I can’t get over how cute! I am so jealous that you can watch them in person :)

Val123's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie It was really, really cool! I was talking with Rick on our back deck, idly looking over the back yard, when I saw some sort of animal in a big water puddle that was out there. For a second I thought it was some sort of mammal….then it turned its head all the way backwards!! I squeaked, “Rick!!! Is that an OWL??” When all was said and done, there were four of them. It was like an Easter egg hunt….“There’s another one!!” They aren’t scardy cats either, like most birds. Most birds seem to just HATE the big black lens of my camera. But it didn’t seem to faze those guys at all. (Well, except for maybe the one hightailing it away in that one picture!) I can’t get over how much like Furbies they look in some of the shots!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

lol! The one running away really did make me laugh. It reminds me of a photo of a Sasquatch “sighting”. Just this mysterious furry blur. Good stuff! I’m really glad that you guys have the opportunity to enjoy them, very cool. :)

casheroo's avatar

oh god, they’re so cute!

ratboy's avatar

Maybe a juvenile Great Horned Owl.

Or maybe a pair of them.

Val123's avatar

@ratboy That’s the conclusion I came too, only they don’t have the long tufts like a Great Horned, so I settle for the Short Horned Owl. BUT they could be juvenile long horns that just haven’t gotten their horns yet.

Also, there were four of them, not just a pair.

And I do believe this is the first time I’ve seen a straight answer by you Rat Boy!! :) YAY!

hungryowl's avatar

These are not baby owls, juveniles maybe, but not babies. I believe they are Western or Eastern Screech Owls, depending on where you live. Eastern’s do have some reddish coloration, which I saw on these owls.

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