Eight species of owls regularly occur and may breed in one or more of the southeastern states. Several additional northern or western species appear irregularly as accidentals or during years of southward incursions. In the Southeast, the most common and wide- spread owls are the common barn-owl, eastern screech-owl, great horned owl and barred owl; the most restricted is the burrowing owl. The long-eared, short-eared, and northern saw-whet owls are primarily winter visitors in this region, although small and very localized nesting populations of short-eared owls may occur in Virginia. Long-eared owls and northern saw-whet owls may occur in West Virginia and northern saw-whet owls may occur in the highlands of Tennessee and North Carolina. Several owls of the Southeast are Blue-listed as threatened, endangered, or of local concern, including the common barn-owl, eastern screech-owl, burrow'ing owl and short-eared owl. The nesting status of the long-eared owl and northern saw-whet owl are still poorly known. These two owls should be included on stat and regional lists of species of special concern. Important limiting factors for all owls of the Southeast include habitat loss and human related mortality. Management issues center on obtaining a data base useful in predicting the effects of current forest management practices on owl populations and encouraging use of forestry techniques that least impact owls. Research needs include initiating studies of all aspects of the life history and habitat relationships of each owl species.
Additional publication details
National Wildlife Federation.
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of the Southeast Raptor Management Symposium and Workshop.