Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Owls

How many species of owl are there?

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February 28, 2013 8:58AM

In the US alone, there are 16 species of owl. Around the world there are believed to be between 220 and 225 known species of owls. All are primarily nocturnal hunters with few exceptions. Most feed mainly on rodents and smaller animals.

A common misconception in Australia is that the Tawny Frogmouth is an owl. It is not. It is a member of the nightjar family.

The number of species of owls in the world is ever changing for a few reasons. In recent years, scientists have discovered a few new species of owl. In addition, taxonomists are constantly examining the way we classify owls and other birds, which sometimes leads to new species or two species being consolidated into one. That being said, as of early 2013, there are considered to be 217 species of owls in the world.

However, it does depend upon the source consulted. According to "The Owl Pages" (see related weblink below), there are 224 species of owls in the world. The website lists each species by family, subfamily and genus.