Long-eared Owl

The Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) is a member of the typical owl family, Strigidae. It breeds in Europe, Asia and North America. The breeding season lasts from February to July. It is partially migratory, moving south in the winter from the northern parts of its range. Its habitat is forest close to open country.

The Long-eared Owl is a medium sized owl, 12 to 14.5 inches in length with a 34 to 38.5 inch wingspan. It carries its blackish tufts, which are positioned in the center of the head, in an erect posture. The females are larger in size and darker in coloration than the males. The Long-eared Owl’s brownish feathers are vertically streaked. Tarsus and toes are entirely feathered.

It nests in trees, often conifers, using the old stick nests of other birds such as crows, ravens and magpies, and various hawks. The average clutch size is 4-6 eggs, and incubation time averages from 25-30 days. It is nocturnal and hunts over open country by night. Its food is rodents, small mammals and birds.