The Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) has a circumpolar distribution and is more commonly known as Tengmalm’s Owl in the UK and other European countries. This was one of the species of owl that I was hoping to see and photograph when I visited Finland in early June this year.
However, whilst based in Oulu, we were told that the Boreal owls had already fledged their young and left their nesting sites, making it a matter of pure luck as to whether I was going to see one, given the large size of the Finnish forests and the small size of the owls! So, when I arrived in the more northerly town of Kuusamo, I was happily surprised when our Finnature guide, Antti Peuna, said we still had a good chance of seeing one at an artificial nest-box site he knew the location of. Antti duly took us to the site and, as we approached the nest box, the adult Boreal owl stuck it’s head out of the nest-box hole and glared at us for a few seconds, long enough for me to take this photograph!