9 Different Types of Owls in Kansas

Different Types of Owls in Kansas
Photo by Alexas_Fotos

Looking for the various types of owls in Kansas? You are at the right place!

If you live in Kansas or are planning a visit, you may be curious about the different types of owls you might encounter.

From the majestic Great Horned Owl to the tiny Elf Owl, Kansas is home to many species of these remarkable birds. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various types of owls that live in Kansas and discuss some of the characteristics of each species.

So grab your binoculars, and let’s take a closer look at the different types of owls in Kansas!

1. Burrowing Owl

The Burrowing Owl is a small owl species inhabiting grasslands and deserts. They have been seen in a variety of habitats across the state of Kansas.

The Burrowing Owl, the first on this list of the types of owls in Kansas, is typically a brown and white mottled color, with a streaked breast and face. 

They can be found in grassland and open woodland areas and often nest in burrows dug by mammals such as badgers and ground squirrels.

These birds are quite tolerant of human presence and can even be spotted hunting or sunning during the day. 

The Burrowing Owl is an incredibly beneficial bird to its habitat because it controls rodent populations.

Its diet mainly consists of small rodents but it will also eat insects, lizards, and sometimes other small birds.

They are active during the day and night, so keep an eye out for these birds as you explore the grasslands and open woods of Kansas!

2. Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common types of owls in Kansas.

This large, powerful raptor is easily recognizable by its large size and its yellow eyes, which stand out against its dark plumage.

It is an opportunistic hunter that can take a wide variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. 

Also, it can be found in various habitats, from woodlands and grasslands to urban areas and parks.

The Great Horned Owl can also be seen year-round throughout the state but is especially active during the winter.

The Great Horned Owl has adapted well to living among humans and is often seen perched on streetlights or in trees around parks and other urban areas. 

Meanwhile, it has even been known to nest in the eaves of buildings and on rooftops.

This impressive raptor is an important part of the Kansas landscape, providing valuable pest control services and a thrilling sight for birdwatchers.

Its presence is a reminder of the beauty and power of nature in the Prairie State.

3. Short-Eared Owl

The Short-eared Owl is a species of owl that can be found in Kansas.

This medium-sized owl is usually around 20-25 inches tall with mottled brown, white, and black feathers. It has yellow eyes, long legs, and a rounded head. 

The Short-eared Owl is a migratory species often seen in open grasslands during the winter months.

Its diet consists mainly of small rodents such as voles and mice. These owls are often spotted at dusk or dawn, flying low over fields, meadows, and marshes in search of food. 

The Short-eared Owl, one of the types of owls in Kansas, prefers to nest on the ground or in low shrubs and thickets.

They lay 2-9 eggs which hatch after 30 days of incubation. During the day, the birds roost in trees and shrubs to hide from predators.

These owls can be seen in Kansas during the months of October through March.

4. American Barn Owl

The American Barn Owl is an owl species that are native to the state of Kansas.

It is recognizable by its distinct white, heart-shaped face and rusty brown feathers.

It is found primarily in open fields and grasslands, although it will also inhabit areas near bodies of water such as streams and rivers. 

The American Barn Owl feeds on small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews but will also take other small birds, reptiles, and insects.

The American Barn Owl is a nocturnal bird and can often be seen flying at night in search of food.

In Kansas, the American Barn Owl is one of the most common species of owls that you will see.

It prefers habitats such as prairies and grasslands but can also be found in woodlands and agricultural areas. 

The American Barn Owl can be seen hunting for food during the evening hours, with its distinct white face being quite noticeable against the night sky.

Its loud hooting calls can often be heard echoing across the night sky, making it one of the most recognizable types of owls in Kansas.

5. Northern Saw-Whet Owl

The Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) is one of the smallest types of owls in Kansas.

This owl prefers to roost and hunt in coniferous and mixed wood forests.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl has a distinctive white, black, and brown striped pattern with a unique white facial disk.

It can be seen during the night, preying on small animals such as voles, mice, and shrews.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl nests in tree cavities or dense foliage. They are active during the day and night and often hunt from a low perch.

During the breeding season, they may travel up to a mile away from their nesting site in search of food.

They are rarely seen, but their calls are quite distinctive – a series of high-pitched whistles followed by a hoot.

6. Barred Owl

The Barred Owl is a medium-sized owl that can be found in wooded habitats in the state of Kansas.

They have a gray and white barred feather pattern, which gives them their name. These owls are nocturnal hunters, meaning they hunt during the night. 

Furthermore, they use their keen eyesight for hunting small mammals such as mice, rats, and voles.

During the day, they can be seen roosting in hollow trees or stumps. Barred Owls can be found across the state of Kansas. 

They prefer wooded habitats but can also be found in urban areas such as parks and gardens.

These types of owls in Kansas can be heard at night with their distinctive call, which sounds like a mixture of a hoot and a laugh.

They are generally more active during the winter when an abundance of food is available.

7. Eastern Screech-Owl

The Eastern Screech-Owl is one of the most common owls found in Kansas. It is a small, colorful owl with two distinct color morphs – red and gray.

The Eastern Screech-Owl is about eight to ten inches tall and has yellow eyes and brownish-red or gray feathers with light spotting. 

These owls can nest in various habitats, from wooded areas to open fields.

They usually nest in cavities or tree stumps near the ground and often use abandoned hawk or squirrel nests.

These are types of owls in Kansas that hunt at night, consuming a variety of insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and other birds.

They are well adapted to urban areas and are common in parks, gardens, and other green spaces.

While they may not be as conspicuous as other owl species, these owls can be heard calling at night with their distinctive trill.

Eastern Screech-Owls are also known to become tame with frequent contact with people and can even be seen hunting during the day if they become habituated to humans.

8. Long-Eared Owl

The Long-eared Owl is a medium-sized owl that is found in Kansas. These owls are distinguished by their long ear tufts and yellow eyes.

The Long-eared Owl has many habitat preferences, including grasslands, woodlands, and even urban areas.

They also feed on a wide variety of prey, including small mammals, insects, and birds.

These owls can be seen hunting during the day or at night and often hunt in pairs. In Kansas, the Long-eared Owl is most common in the state’s eastern portion.

They breed here during the summer months and can often be seen roosting in large trees during the day. 

As their name suggests, they have long ear tufts that can be seen when they are perched or flying.

Some Long-eared Owls migrate south during winter to spend the winter in warmer climates. We are almost done with this list of the types of owls in Kansas you should know!

9. Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl is a species of owl found in the northern parts of Kansas. It is a large, white owl that stands up to 25 inches tall and has yellow eyes.

It prefers open areas with few trees and is usually seen perched on posts, trees, or other elevated places. 

The Snowy Owl feeds on small mammals such as mice, voles, and rabbits, as well as insects, birds, fish, and amphibians.

In Kansas, Snowy Owls can be seen mainly during the winter months from October to April. The Snowy Owl is not very common in Kansas, and sightings are quite rare. 

However, these beautiful types of owls in Kansas can often be seen in open grasslands, prairies, farmlands, and airports.

In the winter, they may form large flocks and migrate south to find food and shelter from the cold weather.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a Snowy Owl in Kansas, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and marvel at this majestic creature!


Kansas is home to various owl species, making it an excellent spot for bird-watching enthusiasts.

Whether in the eastern or western part of the state, you’re likely to come across several types of owls. 

Here, we discussed the different types of owls in Kansas, from the Great Horned Owl to the Barred Owl.

Read the above to learn more about these majestic birds and the best places to find them in the Sunflower State.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

12 Types of Herons in Florida

There are different types of herons in Florida, which include the Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Little Blue…

2 Types of Eagles in New York

New York is a state known for its diverse landscapes, from bustling cities to rugged mountains and rolling…

10 Types of Hawks in Minnesota

Are you a nature enthusiast looking to spot some hawks in Minnesota? Hawks are a fascinating species of…

9 Types of Owls in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, there are several places to watch different types of owls in Massachusetts, from Cape Cod to Boston…