The Spotted Owl is a species you probably heard a lot about over the years, as it depends on old growth forests. One single owl requires 3000 acres to survive, as its food source is often scarce. In Arizona it is found throughout our forests, including the Santa Rita Mountains to the south of Tucson.
The Spotted Owl is medium in size, with white spots on brown over the upper body and barred white on the underside. The wings are also brown and spotted with white. There are no ear tufts. The eyes are brown.
This owl is very elusive, hiding deep in dense forests. They are not defensive of their nests, often sitting and watching from a distance as the nest and young are destroyed. This is an unfortunate fact of life for them, adding to their rarity and danger of extinction.
Reference: The Nature of Madera Canyon by Douglas W. Moore, Friends of Madera, 1999; whatbird.com