Over 250 species of owls wander the free world for them. With this number, comes 254 different lifestyles, diet habits, and life spans!
Yes, if you are thinking about the lifespan of owls, it’s not easy to answer without being specific about which species they belong to.
In addition to that, factors like habitat, predators in the area, availability of food, and our interference can also affect how long they would live. For example, you can’t simply expect owls to live a long life in a polluted environment.
However, this article will be species-centric. We will mostly focus on how long different species of owls live and their lifestyle (Since we’ve already discussed before what are the factors that may affect the owls’ lifespan).
You Should Know,
- The most popular ones are the barn owls. They have a heart-shaped facial disc, which helps channel sound to their ears for improved hunting skills. They have exceptional low-light vision. With this, they can hunt efficiently during the night.
- Blakiston’s fish owl is the largest living species of owl. They are native to the eastern regions of Russia, Japan, China, and North Korea. They weigh around 1.8 to 3.7 kilograms with a wingspan of about 2 meters long.
Due to their unique appearances, they are considered a vulnerable species and are of conservation concern by many specialists.
- The great horned owl is popular for its tufted horns on its head, which are actually feather tufts. They are powerful raptors of all owl species and are apex predators.
Animals like skunks and rabbits are on the list. The great horned owls even hunt other birds of prey too.
- Snowy owls are the only owls to adapt a life in the Arctic. They have a striking white plumage. However, when the cold is unbearable, they may migrate south in search of food. Learn more about the habitat of Snowy Owls.
- The smallest of the owl species are the Screech Owls. They are easily identified with their special ear tufts. Usually, these owls prefer woodlands and suburban areas. Based on their habitat, you may see them in two colors – gray and red.
Here is a brief about most of the prominent owl species. The next part will describe the lifespan of owls for different species including their lifestyle. Let’s begin.
Lifespan of Owl: 25+ Species of Owl
Different species of owls live different years of life. On average, owls can live 10 to 30 years. But when it comes to specific species, the numbers may vary.
Additionally, life in the wild vs. captivity contributes significantly to how long an owl should live. It’s a natural cause, that owls in captivity live significantly longer than those raised in the wild. This is due to the availability of food, medication, and treatment.
Here is a list of the lifespan of owls: 25+ different species. Lifespan for wild and in captivity are mentioned here, equally on what we have found so far.
1) Barn Owl (Tyto alba): They can live up to 4 to 5 years in the wild. The longest one reported was 34 years in the wild. However, in captivity, Barn owls can live up to 15 years.
2) Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus): They can live up to 5 to 15 years in the wild. The oldest known great horned owl in the wild lived for 28 years.
In contrast, the longest-living owl in captivity was a great horned owl, who turned 50 years old in 2012. Generally, they live up to 20 to 30 years in captivity.
3) Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus): The beautiful Snowy owls can live up to 9 to 10 years in the Arctic, with an exceptional living history of 20 years for some of them.
4) Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis): Recently, spotted owls have become a rare sight and of conservation concern. They can live up to 10 years in the wild.
5) Long-Eared Owl (Asio otus): The beautiful long-eared owls are rare and can live up to 4 to 5 years in the wild.
6) Barred Owl (Strix varia): They can live up to 10 to 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
7) Short-Eared Owl (Asio flammeus): In the wild, they are known to live more than 12 years.
8) Tawny Owl (Strix aluco): They can live at most 4 years with breeding at year 1.
9) Little Owl (Athene noctua): They are year-round residents and can live up to 10 to 15 years.
10) Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo): The magnificent owls can live 20 years in the wild and 60 years in captivity.
11) Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium californicum): They are known to live 7 to 10 years in the wild.
12) Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio): The longest one living up to 20 years in captivity.
13) Northern Saw-Whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus): On record, they are known to live 7 to 9 years in the wild.
14) Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia): Generally live up to 6 to 8 years in the wild.
15) Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa): The oldest one on record was at least 18 years 9 months.
16) Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata): Usually, they live 15 to 20 years in captivity.
17) Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula): Generally, they can live up to 4 to 10 years in the wild. However, the oldest one, when captured, was at least 5 years and 11 months old.
18) Indian Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis): In captivity, they are known to live for 15 to 20 years long.
19) Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii): A pair of western screech owls lived up to 19 years. At most, they can live 14 years and 4 months in the wild.
20) Southern White-Faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti): They can live up to 30 years in captivity.
21) Northern White-Faced Owl (Ptilopsis leucotis): They can live for 30 years in captivity.
22) Ural Owl (Strix uralensis): The bird may live up to 24 years in the wild.
23) African Scops Owl (Otus senegalensis): They can live up to 3 to 7 years in the wild.
24) Eurasian Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum): 6 to 7 years in the wild, and sometimes more in captivity.
25) Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi): In the wild, they can live 3 to 6 years, in captivity it can prolong to 10 years.
Here are 25 common owl species. The lifespan of other owl species is also as follows,
26) Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum): As records say, they can live 3 to 4 years in the wild.
27) Blakiston’s Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni): 15 to 20 years in captivity but shorter in the wild.
28) Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus): 7 to 8 years in the wild.
Here 25+ species with different lifespans of owls. Surely, it covers only a small fragment of 254 owl species.
Owls are significant creatures of the night. Talking about the lifespan of owls, we can’t stand still on only one of them as it varies based on different factors and species.
Our article holds the guide to know about different species of owls and how versatile the avian kingdom might be. But, that’s not all. We will come back soon with another useful article on birds.
Till then, stay with us and surf through our other informative article.