Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Northern Saw-whet Owl

Aegolius acadicus This is a tiny, short-tailed owl with brown-streaked underparts that is found in forests and thickets. Nesting occurs in trees cavities and nest boxes. Prey includes deer mice, shews, and voles. Photo by Mick Thompson links: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology: Northern Saw-whet Owl Profile and


Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus The Short-eared Owl has feather tufts resembling ears, which may or may not be easily visible. This owl is of crow-size with a mottled colour pattern and bars across the tail. A distinctive buff patch can be seen on the upper surface of the wing.


Barred Owl

Strix varia This large brown-eyed owl has a horzontal barred pattern on the neck/chest area, whereas the belly is streaked vertically. Unlike several other Salt Spring owls, it lacks ear tufts. The Barred Owl is a recent immigrant and is blamed for a decline in populations of


Northern Pygmy Owl

Glaucidium gnoma swarthi This small brownish-grey owl (less than 20 cm) has a white belly with dark streaks, white spots on the head, and two dark patches on the back of the neck that resemble eyes. The tail is relatively long. Food may include a wide variety


Snowy Owl

Bubo scandiacus As the name implies, this large owl is whitish in colour. Males may be almost entirely white, except for three dark tail bands. Females and young show a pattern of dark bars or spots, and very young animals may be heavily spotted. On the BC


Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus This owl is named for the feather tufts on the head that resemble horns. A large bird may exceed 60 cm in length. The coastal great horned owl is brownish to grey in colour with a barred underside, and prominent yellow eyes. Great horned owls


Western Screech Owl

Megascops kennicottii kennicottii The western screech owl is a small owl measuring 19 – 26 cm (less than a foot long), grey-brown in appearance with dark wavy stripes on the breast. The eyes are yellow and small ear tufts may be visible. Screech owls inhabit low elevation forests


Barn Owl

Tyto alba This medium-sized owl stands 30 -37 cm (just over a foot), and has a unique light-coloured heart-shaped face with dark eyes and a light beak. This owl has been observed in the Vancouver Island region only since 1946. Preferred feeding habitat is open fields