Are Owls Territorial Birds?


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Kath Senior answered
Yes, owls are very territorial in their habits. Almost all the species of owl have stric territories. The size of the territory involved depends on the type of environment in which the owl lives and on how plentiful the prey species are in the area. Where there is plenty of prey to feed on, more owls can live in a smaller area and the territories tend to be smaller. If prey is scarce, territories are much bigger.

Both sexes of owl will defend the couple's territory. Territorial defence signals are mainly vocal and the presence of an owl species within a certain area can be detected only by its territorial call during the breeding season. Boundary disputes are rare.

The need for larger territories also stems from the lack of nesting sites in the area. Owls like to nest in old buildings, rocky crevices, caves, hollow trees, abandoned woodpecker holes in trees or in the left over nests from other bird species. If an area is low in these sites, the owls need a larger territory to find a suitable nesting site.

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