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Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 16,700,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 700000-2400000 poor Estimated 2012
Population trend Stable Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.8 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number > c.1,700,000 individuals which equates to 1,130,000 mature individuals (Rich et al. 2004). The European population is estimated at 90,900-309,000 pairs, which equates to 182,000-619,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 26% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 700,000-2,380,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is placed in the band 700,000-2,400,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be fluctuating owing to fluctuations in prey populations. In Europe the population size is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Andorra Native Extant       Yes
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant       Yes
Azerbaijan Native Extant        
Belarus Native Extant       Yes
Belgium Native Extant       Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Bulgaria Native Extant       Yes
Canada Native Extant     Yes Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Croatia Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant       Yes
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Estonia Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant     Yes Yes
France Native Extant       Yes
Georgia Native Extant        
Germany Native Extant Yes      
Greece Native Extant       Yes
Hungary Vagrant Extant Yes      
India Vagrant Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Japan Native Extant Yes      
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Latvia Native Extant       Yes
Liechtenstein Native Extant       Yes
Lithuania Native Extant       Yes
Luxembourg Native Extant Yes      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
Norway Native Extant Yes      
Poland Native Extant Yes      
Romania Native Extant       Yes
Russia Native Extant Yes     Yes
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant       Yes
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Slovakia Native Extant       Yes
Slovenia Native Extant       Yes
Spain Native Extant       Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Sweden Native Extant       Yes
Switzerland Native Extant       Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant Yes      
Ukraine Native Extant       Yes
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
USA Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Austria Freiwald site factsheet
Austria Kaisergebirge site factsheet
Austria Karwendel site factsheet
Austria Niedere Tauern site factsheet
Austria Ötscher-Dürrenstein site factsheet
Belgium Malchamps site factsheet
Belgium Saint-Hubert site factsheet
Belgium Tailles site factsheet
Belgium Vallée de la Lienne site factsheet
Belgium Wanne-Logbiermé site factsheet
Bulgaria Central Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Persenk site factsheet
Bulgaria Pirin site factsheet
Bulgaria Rila site factsheet
Bulgaria Slavyanka Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes site factsheet
Czech Republic Jizerské hory mountains site factsheet
Czech Republic Krkonose mountains (Giant mountains) site factsheet
Czech Republic Sumava mountains (Bohemian forest) site factsheet
Czech Republic Trebonsko (Trebon region) site factsheet
Denmark Almindingen site factsheet
Estonia Lahemaa site factsheet
Estonia Puhatu mire site factsheet
Estonia Soomaa site factsheet
Estonia Tudu site factsheet
France Arrière Côte de Dijon et de Beaune site factsheet
France Barois et Forêt de Clairvaux site factsheet
France Forêt d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Risoux site factsheet
France Forêt de Châtillon et environs site factsheet
France Forêt de Jugny site factsheet
France Forêts d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Massacre site factsheet
France Forêts d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Risol et Mont d'Or site factsheet
France Haut Giffre site factsheet
France Hauts Plateaux du Vercors et Forêt des Coulmes site factsheet
France Les Bauges site factsheet
France Massif des Vosges : crêtes de Schneeberg au Donon site factsheet
France Massif des Vosges: Hautes Vosges site factsheet
France Massif du Canigou-Carança site factsheet
France Montagne des Frêtes et plateau des Glières site factsheet
France Parc National de la Vanoise site factsheet
France Parc National des Ecrins site factsheet
France Parc National du Mercantour site factsheet
France Plateau Ardennais site factsheet
France Puig Carlit et environs site factsheet
Italy Adamello-Brenta site factsheet
Italy Carniche Alps site factsheet
Italy Gran Paradiso site factsheet
Italy Maritime Alps site factsheet
Italy Susa and Chisone valleys site factsheet
Kazakhstan Paradise Valley mountain plateau site factsheet
Latvia Irbe valley and Dizpurvs site factsheet
Latvia Kemeri national park site factsheet
Latvia Lubans and fish-ponds site factsheet
Latvia Stikli site factsheet
Latvia Stompaku bogs site factsheet
Latvia Teici and Pelecare bogs site factsheet
Latvia Ziemelgauja site factsheet
Lithuania Cepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Dzukija National Park site factsheet
Lithuania Initial area of Aukstaitija NP site factsheet
Lithuania Labanoras Regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Rudninkai forest complex site factsheet
Luxembourg Valley of the Trëtterbaach site factsheet
Poland Augustów forest site factsheet
Poland Bialowieza Forest site factsheet
Poland Bieszczady Mountains site factsheet
Poland Darzlubska Forest site factsheet
Poland Gorce mountains site factsheet
Poland Izerskie Mountains site factsheet
Poland Knyszyn Forest site factsheet
Poland Lebork Forest site factsheet
Poland Lower Silesia Forests site factsheet
Poland Mirachowo Forest site factsheet
Poland Pisz forest site factsheet
Poland Slonne Mountains site factsheet
Poland Solska Forest site factsheet
Poland Sudety Wałbrzysko-Kamiennogorskie Mountains site factsheet
Poland Tatra mountains site factsheet
Poland Tuchola Forest site factsheet
Romania Călimani Mountains site factsheet
Romania Ceahlă Mountains site factsheet
Romania Defileul Superior al Mureşului site factsheet
Romania Frumoasa site factsheet
Romania Giurgeu Depression site factsheet
Romania Padiş - Vlădeasa mountain site factsheet
Romania Retezat Mountains site factsheet
Romania Rodnei Mountains site factsheet
Romania Vrancea Mountains site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Korgonskaya site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Poyasovy Kamen' ridge site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Visimsky zapovednik and vicinity site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Zaikovo forest site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Zapovednik "Denezhkin Kamen'" site factsheet
Slovakia Malá Fatra site factsheet
Slovakia Muránska plateau and Stolicke hills site factsheet
Slovakia Nízke Tatry site factsheet
Slovakia Tatry site factsheet
Slovakia Velká Fatra site factsheet
Slovenia Grintovci site factsheet
Slovenia Julijci site factsheet
Slovenia Kočevsko site factsheet
Slovenia Pohorje site factsheet
Slovenia Snežnik plateau and Pivka valley site factsheet
Spain Alt Pallars site factsheet
Spain Belagua-Ansó-Hecho site factsheet
Spain Cadí mountains site factsheet
Spain Fresser-Setcases site factsheet
Spain Posets-Maladeta site factsheet
Spain San Mauricio-Bohí-Beret site factsheet
Sweden Färnebofjärden site factsheet
Sweden Florarna site factsheet
Sweden Hanveden-Hemfosa site factsheet
Sweden Sjaunja site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal Major breeding
Forest Boreal Major non-breeding
Forest Subarctic Suitable breeding
Forest Subarctic Suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate Suitable breeding
Forest Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations / Agro-industry plantations Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic species/disease of unknown origin / Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aegolius funereus. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Strigidae (Typical Owls)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 700000-2400000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 16,700,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment