Northern Hawk-Owl

Northern Hawk Owl


Surnia ulula

Although common in Canada and Alaska, the Northern Hawk Owl is rare in the northern U.S. Only recently has the species been recorded nesting in the lower 48. In Montana, the owl is listed as a Species of Special Concern.

ORI’s relatively new research program stems from a flurry of hawk owl sightings in 2004- 2005 in Glacier National Park. Starting in 2006, we began studying the nesting habits of this rare owl, in partnership with Glacier National Park.

This collaborative project has led to finding fourteen nests and banding 33 owls. We also record characteristics of nest sites, essential information that is directly communicated to resource managers in National Parks and Forests.

Further, we are investigating whether hawk owls practice site fidelity, and whether there is a connection between hawk owl nest success and proximity to burns.

Funding for the program has been provided by Glacier National Park, the Glacier Fund, and other sources. Special thanks to Park Scientist, Steve Gniadek, who works with us to maintain data quality and provides general support.

To help with the Northern Hawk Owl Project, click here.




The Owl Research Institute is dedicated to owl research, eEducation and conservation.
(406) 644-3416