Flammulated Owl


Last COSEWIC designation: November 2001
SARA risk category: Special Concern

Description: This is a small owl with short ear tufts. The Flammulated Owl has grey and red colour phases; the reddish phase is commonest in the south part of the owl’s range (where Ponderosa pine predominates) and the greyish phase, heavily streaked with brown, is more common in the north (where Douglas-fir predominates).

Habitat: In British Columbia, the species is found primarily in the dry Interior Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone, and secondarily in the Ponderosa pine zone. Breeding Flammulated Owls prefer old-growth stands (in B.C., trees > 141 years old), where there are snags containing nesting cavities. The understory is typically comprised of grasses and low shrubs.

Threats: Flammulated Owl breeding habitat in British Columbia is affected primarily by forest and livestock management activities. The owls leave areas where clear-cut logging or other practices have eliminated or reduced the availability of suitable habitat. The Flammulated Owl is potentially vulnerable to aerial spraying with pesticides or other management procedures used to control forest insect pests which the owls eat.