Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-04

Common name:

Boreal Owl

Scientific name: Aegolius funereus
Date: 1/24/2006
Time: 7:00 am
Length of time observed: 24 hours
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Bluebell Hwy - east of Bluebell. NW of Roosevelt.
County: Duchesne
Latilong: N 40.355 W 110.190
Elevation: 6120
Distance to bird: In hand.
Optical equipment: None used.
Weather: Clear, cold (10 F)
Light Conditions: Early morning, sun just coming up.
Description:        Size of bird: 10 inches tall
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Small, Round head.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Brown on back, dark facial disk, light brown/white on belly.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Hook, similar to all raptors and owls.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Facial disk edge was dark with small white spots. A dark V down through the eyes to the beak. Belly and flanks was mostly spotted with white spots on a light brown background. The back was mostly brown (darker than belly) with white spots. Tail was similar to the back in color and spotting. Bird was approximately 10 inches tall. The eyes of were a bright yellow. Beak was light along dorsal edge (visible edge).
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: No audible sound heard.
Behavior: Aberrant behavior because most observations were seen during captivity while being rehabilitated.
Habitat: Picked-up up on highway. Surrounding habitat salt desert shrub/grass with small areas of juniper. Pastures nearby.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Northern Saw-whet Owl - The Saw-whet has a white V down through the eyes while this owl had a dark V down through the eyes.. The belly of Saw-whet is brown streaked while this owl had white spots (and small steakes) through a light brown background. The eyes of this owl were bright yellow while the Saw-whet is an orange color.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I conducted Boreal Owl surveys in the Soapstone Basin area with a researcher. I was able to observe on Boreal Owl during these surveys and heard the territorial call of several.
References consulted: The Sibley Field Guide To Birds of Western North America.The Owl Pages - (
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Brian Maxfield
Observer's address: PO Box 510051 Mountain Home Utah 84051
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Analisa Burton (person who picked up bird).
Date prepared: 1/25/2006
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: The owl was picked-up by Analisa Burton on the Bluebell Hwy early in the morning. It was in the road and a Common Raven was nearby but was scared away when another car drove by. After
observation the owl was released on 1/25/2006 near the area where the bird was found. The photos was taken when bird was being released