The northern hawk owl

Surnia ulula

The Northern hawk-owl got its name by its reminiscence of a hawk with its cross-striped breast, long tail and narrow wings.


With its cross-strapped chest and its sleek silhouette, it’s no wonder this owl got its name. The hawk owl is not only similar to a hawk, it also hunts during the day unlike most other owls. It is often seen sitting in a treetop, where it looks for prey on the ground. They live in pairs but the female herself broods the 3-10 eggs while the male chases and keeps effective guard.

Despite its small size, the hawk owl does not hesitate to attack people approaching the place of residence. The owl is nomadic and it moves to the areas where there is currently plenty of food. It normally resides in the country’s northern parts, but some years a lot of hawk owls break up and make long strolls south, probably when there is scarce food.

En tunn linje


Class: Bird

Scientific name: Surnia ulula

Conservations status: LC

Size: 36-40 cm

Weight: 280-380 gram

Number of eggs: 3-10

Did you know that

The name Northern hawk-owl was first used in 1824, while previously, around 1807, it was called Eurasian sparrow-hawk owl.

En tunn linje

Visit the animals at

Conservation status

Read more about our other animals