Short-eared Owl

The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a species of owl that breeds in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Galapagos. This bird is partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its range. It will also wander nomadically in poor vole years in search of better food supplies.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls ( Strigidae) which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls (Tytonidae).

It nests on the ground on open heathland or tundra, laying 3-4 eggs, but up to a dozen in vole years.

It hunts over open country, often by day. Its food is mainly rodents, especially voles, but it will take other small mammals and birds.

The 34-42 cm long Short-eared Owl has yellow eyes; its short ear-tufts are not usually visible. It is brownish above and pale below. It is very long winged, with a 90-105 cm wingspan, and glides slowly on stiff wings when hunting. It will often perch on the ground or low posts.

The male’s call is doo-doo-doo-doo, and the female’s is a throaty cherr-up.