Owls come in a wide variety of sizes, and adults of small species are often mistaken for babies.

An adult owl will be fully feathered with no down. A baby owl will have thick down, while a fledgling owl will have both down and new feather growth.

Babies are typically born in the early-to-mid spring and fledge before summer. If it is any other time of year, please start over and consider this to be an adult owl.

Adult screech owls are only six inches tall and the size of a softball and are often misidentified as baby great horned owls. Compare the two pictures below to identify the owl you have encountered.

This is a baby owl.

These are small adult owls.