Owls swoop silently through the night sky to feed on rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, and large insects. We have four types of owls at Oregon Caves National Monument - Saw-Whet Owls, Spotted Owls, Great Horned Owls, and Screech Owls.
The Saw-Whet Owl is a tiny, tuftless owl rarely seen unless found roosting in dense young evergreens or thickets. Its call is usually a series of short whistles.
The Spotted Owls have large dark eyes and puffy round heads. They are endangered because they live in mature, old-growth forests - many of which have been cut down. Their call is a series of sharp, high pitched hoots usually in groups of three.
Great Horned Owls are twice the size of a crow and can lift small mammals as large as a skunk. They live in forest, woodlots, near streams, and open country. The male makes a series of hoots - Hoo! Hu-hu-hu, Hoo! Hoo! The female hoots are higher and shorter in sequence.
Screech Owls are the common, small "eared" owls of towns, orchards, and woodlots. They are also found in wooded canyons. Their song is a quavering whistle. Screech owls are often the prey of spotted owls.
Did You Know?
Up until 1922 the only way to get to Oregon Caves was on a 12 mile trail from the town of Williams, Oregon. Once at Oregon Caves visitors explored the cave and spent the night at a camp outside the entrance to the cave.