Body length: 21-28 cm
Wingspan: 50-60 cm
Body mass: males 90-110 g, females 120-190 g
Adults: small owls with yellow eyes, large heads and “surprised expression”, plumage dark brown with pale spots
Juveniles: uniformly dark brown
Away from the southern uplands and mountains, occurs locally in the Białowieża Forest and Mazury region, but also in near-coastal forests. Inhabits spruce forest, most often nesting in tree-holes first excavated by black woodpeckers. In years of abundant prey, attractive males engage in bigamy, and are still able to feed two partners and their young. Main prey rodents. Very largely night-active. Breeding sites in Poland are subject to zone protection.
Descriptions drawing on content of Ptaki Polski (“Birds of Poland”) - a book authored by Andrzej G. Kruszewicz, and published by MULTICO Oficyna Wydawnicza Sp. z o.o.