Denali National Park and Preserve Northern Hawk Owl

Many birders are drawn to Denali hoping to see this striking species. The likelihood of seeing a northern hawk owl really depends on being in the right place at the right time. Northern hawk owls are a rare sight in the wild. They are often spotted perched at the top of spruce trees. Birders with good ears can also find them by listening for their vocalizations. In Denali and adjacent areas, birders are most likely to find northern hawk owls in late winter or early spring as they move in search of nest sites, mates, and prey.

The northern hawk owl occupies a circumpolar range and breeds in Alaska, northern Canada, Scandinavia, and across northern Russia. Three subspecies exist worldwide but only one, Surnia ulula caparoch , resides in North America. These owls live and breed in the northern boreal forests of Alaska, Canada, and Newfoundland.

Largely nomadic, northern hawk owls move across their range in response to prey availability and climatic conditions. When the weather is severe and prey availability is low, northern hawk owls may move southward into more temperate latitudes of Alaska, Canada, and the northern continental United States. These southern movements are referred to as "irruptions" and may span thousands of miles.

Northern hawk owls are one of the least studied birds in North America. Their low densities and tendency to nest in remote places make it very difficult to study this northern nesting owl. Research conducted in Denali in the early 1980's and at the turn of the 20th century has provided valuable information about the habitat requirements, food habits, and nesting ecology of northern hawk owls in Alaska.

$279.95
From warming the legs up on opening day at the resort to milking the last of the spring slush after the lifts stop...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com
Featured Park
Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
Featured Wildlife
The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.