These are fairly large predators, with body length of 25-35 cms, 1 meter wingspan, and weigh up to 1 kg. Their diet consists of small mammals like flying squirrels, wood rats, mice, voles and also some birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. They hunt mainly at night by swooping down from a higher perch.
These owls usually nest in a cavity, old stick nest, or clump of debris in trees. The female lays 2 – 4 eggs, which are incubated for 30 days. The chicks start moving out of the nest at 5 weeks and learn to fly at 6 weeks of age.
Spotted owls are closely tied to old-growth forests for nest and roost sites and the prey animals that live in this habitat. They are one of the few owls that have dark colored eyes. Most owls have eyes colored from yellow to red-orange.
Their call is distinctive – they emit a loud and powerful coughing sound somewhat like the barking of a dog.