Boreal Habitat Owl Surveys

About The Maine Owl Survey

Owls are among the most charismatic and recognizable orders of birds in the world, yet their secretive life histories, elusive nature, and nocturnal habits, with breeding initiated during the winter months, mean they are chronically understudied. Maine is no exception with even common owl species regularly overlooked by traditional bird monitoring schemes. The resulting lack of knowledge about Maine’s owl species has significant consequences for biodiversity conservation and land management as important habitats may be at risk of alteration, degradation, or destruction while land-use decisions are made in the absence of complete information.

The Maine Owl Survey is an exciting project, through a partnership with David Brinker of Project OwlNet, that looks at the distribution and habitat preferences of Maine's owl species.  The Maine Owl Survey is a multi-year effort to record owl observations during the courtship and breeding season through playback surveys and monitored nest boxes. 



Are you interested in volunteering to run an owl survey or monitor a nest box?  We would love to hear from you!  (Unfortunately, we don't have the funds to compensate volunteers at this time.)


If you have any questions - get in touch with Logan Parker ( or Glen Mittelhauser (



Contact Logan Parker ( if you are interested in learning more or signing up to monitor a nest box.



During 2022 in our focal Washington county region, MNHO staff conducted 136 nocturnal point counts for owls and detected 15 Great Horned Owls, 28 Barred Owls, and 27 Northern Saw-whet Owls for a total of 70 owls. During these surveys, no Long-eared Owls (although 5 were documented in the downeast area during 2018), and no Boreal Owls (although 2 were captured and banded at our owl banding station on Petit Manan Point on 26 October 2019) were detected. Also in Washington County during 2022, other observers detected an additional 13 Great Horned Owls, 71 Barred Owls, and 46 Northern Saw-whet Owls, greatly expanding our knowledge of owls in this region. 








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