Skip to Content

Boreal Owl

MARC number#LocationCountyArrival dateDeparture dateObserversReport
1996-111Gun Club Lane entrance, Jericho Town Forest, WestonMiddlesex10/23/9610/23/96D. Morimoto, M. Frankel2
1996-201Back Bay, Boston (***check location with Stymeist – 380 Comm Ave Back Bay)Suffolk11/22/9611/22/96K. Hudson3
1879-031NewtonMiddlesex2/26/18792/26/1879collected by E. A. and O. Bangs (ph. Jeremiah Trimble)16
1885-031TyngsboroMiddlesex3/11/18853/11/1885collected by W. H. Parham (ph. Jeremiah Trimble)16
1903-011New SalemFranklin01/01/0301/01/03collected by P. Marshall (ph. Jeremiah Trimble)16
1905-011Hyde ParkSuffolk11/26/0511/26/05collected by Fred. Downey (ph. Jeremiah Trimble)16
2012-1331Marblehead NeckEssex11/07/1211/07/12*unknown (ph)17
2017-0011Ipswich River Wildlife SanctuaryEssex01/28/1701/28/17Andrea Bean* (ph)21

This shy, reclusive, and difficult to detect circumpolar owl has been recorded several dozen times in Massachusetts, most often during irruption years. The most recent invasion was during the winter of 1991/1992 with six statewide records.

Boreal Owls can be confused with Northern Saw-whet Owls with poor views. However, Boreal Owls always show a dark “V” that connects the head to the eyes. Boreal Owls also show a spotted forehead and crown; the Saw-whet shows streaking in this area.