Owl Species List

Types of Owls and an A-Z Species List

Tawny Owl
Photo © Nick Jewell/Flickr/CC by 2.0

Owls are some of the most popular raptors, not only for their nocturnal habits and amazingly expressive faces, but also for their outstanding abilities and the many legends and superstitions that surround them. They are found worldwide, and it can be easier than many birders realize to go owling and add these remarkable birds to their life list. Furthermore, many owls are ideal ambassador birds at aviaries, zoos and nature centers, so everyone can see them up close and get intimately familiar with their favorite owls.

Types of Owls

There are more than 225 owl species in the world, divided into two families. Barn owls with their distinct heart-shaped facial disks make up the Tytonidae family, while all other owl species are in the Strigidae family. It can seem like there are many more species, however, because many owls go by a number of different common names throughout their ranges. This makes it important to learn the scientific names of owls to be certain of proper identifications and not mistake one common name for an entirely different species.

While only a handful of owl species are classified as endangered, nearly 50 species are vulnerable or threatened with drastic population declines. Several species have not been studied well enough to make a proper determination of their status, and so the numbers of owls that may be in danger of extinction could be even higher. Local populations can also suffer severe threats in parts of their range but not be considered endangered or threatened worldwide.

It is vital that conservation efforts be put in place to protect all owls to preserve these powerful and fascinating birds for future generations of birders to enjoy.

Alphabetical List of Owl Species
Sorted by Common Name

* - Considered threatened or vulnerable due to population decreases and growing survival threats
** - Listed as endangered and in critical danger of extinction if conservation is not implemented (Classifications by BirdLife International)

Tytonidae Owls

  • African Grass-Owl (Tyto capensis)
  • Ashy-Faced Owl (Tyto glaucops)
  • **Australian Masked-Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae)
  • Common Barn-Owl (Tyto alba)
  • Congo Bay-Owl (Phodilus prigoginei)
  • *Eastern Grass-Owl (Tyto longimembris)
  • Golden Masked-Owl (Tyto aurantia)
  • Greater Sooty-Owl (Tyto tenebricosa)
  • *Lesser Sooty-Owl (Tyto multipunctata)
  • Madagascar Red Owl (Tyto soumagnei)
  • Minahassa Masked-Owl (Tyto inexspectata)
  • **Oriental Bay-Owl (Phodilus badius)
  • Seram Masked-Owl (Tyto almae)
  • Sri Lanka Bay-Owl (Phodilus assimilis)
  • *Sulawesi Masked-Owl  (Tyto rosenbergii)
  • Taliabu Masked-Owl (Tyto nigrobrunnea)

Strigidae Owls

  • African Barred Owlet (Glaucidium capense)
  • African Long-Eared Owl (Asio abyssinicus)
  • African Scops-Owl (Otus senegalensis)
  • African Wood-Owl (Strix woodfordii)
  • Akun Eagle-Owl (Bubo leucostictus)
  • *Albertine Owlet (Glaucidium albertinum)
  • Amazonian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium hardyi)
  • *Andaman Boobook (Ninox affinis)
  • *Andaman Scops-Owl (Otus balli)
  • Andean Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium jardinii)
  • **Anjouan Scops-Owl (Otus capnodes)
  • **Annobon Scops-Owl (Otus feae)
  • Arabian Scops-Owl (Otus pamelae)
  • Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides)
  • Austral Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium nana)
  • Baja Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium hoskinsii)
  • Balsas Screech-Owl (Megascops seductus)
  • Band-Bellied Owl (Pulsatrix melanota)
  • *Banggai Scops-Owl (Otus mendeni)
  • Bare-Legged Screech-Owl (Margarobyas lawrencii)
  • Bare-Shanked Screech-Owl (Megascops clarkii)
  • Barking Owl (Ninox connivens)
  • Barred Eagle-Owl (Bubo sumatranus)
  • Barred Owl (Strix varia)
  • *Bearded Screech-Owl (Megascops barbarus)
  • *Biak Scops-Owl (Otus beccarii)
  • Bismarck Boobook (Ninox variegata)
  • Black-and-White Owl (Ciccaba nigrolineata)
  • Black-Banded Owl (Ciccaba huhula)
  • Black-Capped Screech-Owl (Megascops atricapilla)
  • **Blakiston's Eagle-Owl (Bubo blakistoni)
  • Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus)
  • Brown Boobook (Ninox scutulata)
  • Brown Fish-Owl (Ketupa zeylonensis)
  • Brown Wood-Owl (Strix leptogrammica)
  • Buff-Fronted Owl (Aegolius harrisii)
  • Buffy Fish-Owl (Ketupa ketupu)
  • Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
  • Buru Boobook (Ninox hantu)
  • **Camiguin Boobook (Ninox leventisi)
  • Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis)
  • **Cebu Boobook (Ninox rumseyi)
  • Central American Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium griseiceps)
  • Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis)
  • Chestnut Owlet (Glaucidium castaneum)
  • *Chestnut-Backed Owlet (Glaucidium castanotum)
  • *Chocolate Boobook (Ninox randi)
  • *Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis)
  • *Cinnabar Boobook (Ninox ios)
  • Cinnamon Screech-Owl (Megascops petersoni)
  • *Cloudforest Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium nubicola)
  • *Cloudforest Screech-Owl (Megascops marshalli)
  • Colima Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium palmarum)
  • Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei)
  • Collared Scops-Owl (Otus lettia)
  • *Colombian Screech-Owl (Megascops colombianus)
  • Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium costaricanum)
  • Crested Owl (Lophostrix cristata)
  • Cuban Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium siju)
  • Dusky Eagle-Owl (Bubo coromandus)
  • Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)
  • Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi)
  • *Enggano Scops-Owl (Otus enganensis)
  • Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo)
  • Eurasian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium passerinum)
  • Eurasian Scops-Owl (Otus scops)
  • *Fearful Owl (Nesasio solomonensis)
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)
  • Flammulated Owl (Psiloscops flammeolus)
  • **Flores Scops-Owl (Otus alfredi)
  • **Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti)
  • Fraser's Eagle-Owl (Bubo poensis)
  • Fulvous Owl (Strix fulvescens)
  • *Giant Scops-Owl (Otus gurneyi)
  • **Grand Comoro Scops-Owl (Otus pauliani)
  • Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa)
  • Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
  • Greyish Eagle-Owl (Bubo cinerascens)
  • *Guadalcanal Boobook (Ninox granti)
  • Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium cobanense)
  • Guatemalan Screech-Owl (Megascops guatemalae)
  • Halmahera Boobook (Ninox hypogramma)
  • Himalayan Owl (Strix nivicolum)
  • Hume's Boobook (Ninox obscura)
  • Hume's Owl (Strix butleri)
  • Indian Scops-Owl (Otus bakkamoena)
  • Jamaican Owl (Pseudoscops grammicus)
  • Japanese Scops-Owl (Otus semitorques)
  • Javan Owlet (Glaucidium castanopterum)
  • *Javan Scops-Owl (Otus angelinae)
  • Jungle Boobook (Ninox theomacha)
  • Jungle Owlet (Glaucidium radiatum)
  • Koepcke's Screech-Owl (Megascops koepckeae)
  • *Least Boobook (Ninox sumbaensis)
  • Least Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium minutissimum)
  • Little Owl (Athene noctua)
  • Long-Tufted Screech-Owl (Megascops sanctaecatarinae)
  • **Long-Whiskered Owlet (Xenoglaux loweryi)
  • Luzon Boobook (Ninox philippensis)
  • *Luzon Highland Scops-Owl (Otus longicornis)
  • Luzon Lowland Scops-Owl (Otus megalotis)
  • Madagascar Long-Eared Owl (Asio madagascariensis)
  • Madagascar Scops-Owl (Otus rutilus)
  • Magellanic Horned Owl (Bubo magellanicus)
  • *Makira Boobook (Ninox roseoaxillaris)
  • *Malaita Boobook (Ninox malaitae)
  • Maned Owl (Jubula lettii)
  • *Mantanani Scops-Owl (Otus mantananensis)
  • Manus Boobook (Ninox meeki)
  • Marsh Owl (Asio capensis)
  • Mayotte Scops-Owl (Otus mayottensis)
  • *Mentawai Scops-Owl (Otus mentawi)
  • *Mindanao Boobook (Ninox spilocephala)
  • *Mindanao Highland Scops-Owl (Otus mirus)
  • Mindanao Lowland Scops-Owl (Otus everetti)
  • *Mindoro Boobook (Ninox mindorensis)
  • *Mindoro Scops-Owl (Otus mindorensis)
  • **Moheli Scops-Owl (Otus moheliensis)
  • Moluccan Scops-Owl (Otus magicus)
  • Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae)
  • Mottled Owl (Ciccaba virgata)
  • Mottled Wood-Owl (Strix ocellata)
  • Mountain Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma)
  • Mountain Scops-Owl (Otus spilocephalus)
  • *New Britain Boobook (Ninox odiosa)
  • Nicobar Scops-Owl (Otus alius)
  • Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica)
  • Northern Hawk-Owl (Surnia ulula)
  • Northern Long-Eared Owl (Asio otus)
  • Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium californicum)
  • Northern Saw-Whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)
  • Northern White-Faced Owl (Ptilopsis leucotis)
  • *Ochre-Bellied Boobook (Ninox ochracea)
  • Omani Owl (Strix omanensis)
  • Oriental Scops-Owl (Otus sunia)
  • Pacific Screech-Owl (Megascops cooperi)
  • Palau Owl (Pyrroglaux podargina)
  • *Palawan Scops-Owl (Otus fuliginosus)
  • Pallid Scops-Owl (Otus brucei)
  • Papuan Boobook (Uroglaux dimorpha)
  • Pearl-Spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum)
  • Pel's Fishing-Owl (Scotopelia peli)
  • *Pemba Scops-Owl (Otus pembaensis)
  • **Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium mooreorum)
  • Peruvian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium peruanum)
  • Peruvian Screech-Owl (Megascops roboratus)
  • Pharaoh Eagle-Owl (Bubo ascalaphus)
  • *Philippine Eagle-Owl (Bubo philippensis)
  • Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)
  • Puerto Rican Screech-Owl (Megascops nudipes)
  • Rajah Scops-Owl (Otus brookii)
  • Red-Chested Owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum)
  • *Reddish Scops-Owl (Otus rufescens)
  • *Rinjani Scops-Owl (Otus jolandae)
  • Rock Eagle-Owl (Bubo bengalensis)
  • *Romblon Boobook (Ninox spilonotus)
  • Rufescent Screech-Owl (Megascops ingens)
  • *Rufous Fishing-Owl (Scotopelia ussheri)
  • Rufous Owl (Ninox rufa)
  • Rufous-Banded Owl (Ciccaba albitarsis)
  • Rufous-Legged Owl (Strix rufipes)
  • *Rusty-Barred Owl (Strix hylophila)
  • *Ryukyu Scops-Owl (Otus elegans)
  • Sandy Scops-Owl (Otus icterorhynchus)
  • Sangihe Scops-Owl (Otus collari)
  • *Sao Tome Scops-Owl (Otus hartlaubi)
  • Seram Boobook (Ninox squamipila)
  • **Serendib Scops-Owl (Otus thilohoffmanni)
  • **Seychelles Scops-Owl (Otus insularis)
  • *Shelley's Eagle-Owl (Bubo shelleyi)
  • Short-Eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
  • **Siau Scops-Owl (Otus siaoensis)
  • *Simeulue Scops-Owl (Otus umbra)
  • Sjostedt's Owlet (Glaucidium sjostedti)
  • Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)
  • Socotra Scops-Owl (Otus socotranus)
  • **Sokoke Scops-Owl (Otus ireneae)
  • Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook)
  • Southern White-Faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti)
  • Speckled Boobook (Ninox punctulata)
  • Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata)
  • Spot-Bellied Eagle-Owl (Bubo nipalensis)
  • Spotted Eagle-Owl (Bubo africanus)
  • *Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)
  • Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)
  • Spotted Wood-Owl (Strix seloputo)
  • Striped Owl (Asio clamator)
  • Stygian Owl (Asio stygius)
  • Subtropical Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium parkeri)
  • *Sula Scops-Owl (Otus sulaensis)
  • Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis)
  • *Sulu Boobook (Ninox reyi)
  • *Sumba Boobook (Ninox rudolfi)
  • Sunda Scops-Owl (Otus lempiji)
  • Tamaulipas Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium sanchezi)
  • Tanimbar Boobook (Ninox forbesi)
  • Tasmanian Boobook (Ninox leucopsis)
  • Tawny Fish-Owl (Ketupa flavipes)
  • Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)
  • Tawny-Bellied Screech-Owl (Megascops watsonii)
  • Tawny-Browed Owl (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana)
  • *Togian Boobook (Ninox burhani)
  • Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba)
  • Tucuman Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium tucumanum)
  • Unspotted Saw-Whet Owl (Aegolius ridgwayi)
  • Ural Owl (Strix uralensis)
  • Vermiculated Fishing-Owl (Scotopelia bouvieri)
  • Vermiculated Screech-Owl (Megascops vermiculatus)
  • Verreaux's Eagle-Owl (Bubo lacteus)
  • *Visayan Scops-Owl (Otus nigrorum)
  • Wallace's Scops-Owl (Otus silvicola)
  • West Solomons Boobook (Ninox jacquinoti)
  • Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicottii)
  • Wetar Scops-Owl (Otus tempestatis)
  • Whiskered Screech-Owl (Megascops trichopsis)
  • White-Browed Owl (Athene superciliaris)
  • *White-Fronted Scops-Owl (Otus sagittatus)
  • White-Throated Screech-Owl (Megascops albogularis)
  • Yungas Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium bolivianum)
  • Yungas Screech-Owl (Megascops hoyi)