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Scientific Name:

Asio flammeus

Population Status:

Least Concern

Body Length:

15 inches

Wingspan:

3 to 3-1/2 feet

Weight:

7-17 ounces

What makes a raptor a raptor?

Did you know?

  • Short-eared Owls have an uncanny ability to find areas with high prey concentrations. They gather in large numbers at these sites and may nest there instead of returning to their traditional nest sites.
  • The male’s courtship flight includes audible wing clapping.
  • Owls that are more active during the day, like Snowy Owls, Burrowing Owls, and Short-eared Owls, tend to have more noticeable color differences between the sexes, although it is usually subtle. This is known as sexual dimorphism.
Short-eared Owls are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, making them among the most widely distributed birds in the world.
Populations are declining in some areas in the United States. Barn Owls may be out-competing Short-eared Owls in some locations.
They actively hunt through day and night. By using a low slow flight over the ground, they hunt small mammals such as voles, shrews, moles, rabbits, and occasionally birds. Prey often is swallowed whole.
The nest is a scraped-out depression on the ground that is lined with grass and feathers. The female lays 4-7 eggs that are incubated 24-29 days. The young leave the nest at 14-18 days and fledge when they are 24-27 days old. The fledglings may form a social group and roost together during the day. These owls are able to reproduce in their first year.

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