Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.
Short-Eared Owl Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Asio flammeus
Short-Eared Owl Physical Characteristics
Brown, Yellow, Black, White
1.2 to 2.1 million
4.8 years
7.3 to 16.8 ounces
Short-Eared Owl Distribition

They have long, wide wings and skyrocket like hawks.

The short- eared owl ( Asio flammeus) is a tool- sized owl belonging to all continents other than Antarctica and Australia. They reside in open locations with reduced plant life, like seaside meadows, savannas, and fields. They are mainly singular however might roost communally. And they invest their night and day searching for victim as they skyrocket hawk- like throughout the surface. Learn every little thing there is to learn about this owl species, consisting of where it lives, what it consumes, and exactly how it acts.

5 Remarkable Short-Eared Owl Truths

  • The short- eared owl is just one of one of the most extensive owl species worldwide, covering 5 continents.
  • They have black rings around their eyes, providing the appearance of using mascara.
  • They utilize their lengthy, wide wings to skyrocket like hawks when moving.
  • They are energetic all hrs of the night and day throughout the nesting period however are mainly nighttime the remainder of the year.
  • They put their nests on the ground, that makes them vulnerable to animalpredators Nonetheless, both moms and dads fearlessly protect their nests.

Where to Discover the Short-Eared Owl

Brief- eared owls reside on all continents besides Antarctica and Australia. They reproduce in Europe, Asia, South America, and The United States and Canada and are partly migratory. Some populaces in the northern most varieties relocate southern throughout wintertime. They are likewise extremely nomadic, generally transferring to locations with greater rodent populaces. These owls choose to reside in open locations with reduced plant life, such as savannas, seaside meadows, fields, savannas, expanse, marshes, dunes, and farming areas. Seek them skyrocketing reduced to the surface or nesting on the ground bordered by plant life.

Short-Eared Owl Nest

They nest in marshy locations on the completely dry ground, generally on a ridge around high yard and bushes. The nest is a clinical depression in the dirt 10 inches throughout and 2 inches deep, which females line with yard and plumes.

Scientific Name

The short- eared owl ( Asio flammeus) is from the Strigiformes order in the Strigidae family, including normal or “real” owls. It remains in the Asio genus, and its particular epithet, flammeus, is Latin for “fire- tinted.”

There are eleven identified subspecies of short- eared owl:

  • A. f. flammeus– The United States and Canada, Europe, North Africa, and north Asia
  • A. f. cubensis– Cuba
  • A. f. domingensis– Hispaniola
  • A. f. portoricensis– Puerto Rico
  • A. f. bogotensis– Colombia, Ecuador, and northwestern Peru
  • A. f. galapagoensis– the Galápagos Islands
  • A. f. pallidicaudus– Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname
  • A. f. suinda– from southerly Peru and southerly Brazil to Tierra del Fuego
  • A. f. sanfordi– the Falkland Islands
  • A. f. sandwichensis– the Hawaiian Islands
  • A. f. ponapensis– eastern Caroline Island

Dimension, Appearance, Habits

Short Eared Owl
The brief- eared owl is rather social, creating virginal bonds and communally reproducing occasionally.RobDemPhoto/Shutterstock. com

This tool- sized owl actions 13 to 17 inches long and considers 7.3 to 16.8 ounces, with a 33 to 43- inch wingspan. This species has large eyes, a huge head, a short, addicted costs, and wide wings. Grownups are a multicolor brownish with yellow-colored- orange eyes surrounded with black rings and creamy colored discs. Males and females are similar in appearance, however the females are a little bigger.

These birds are mainly nighttime however remain energetic all hrs of the night and day throughout the reproducing period. The brief- eared owl is rather social, creating virginal bonds and communally reproducing occasionally. This species is generally quiet however makes different barks, hisses, and screeches on their nesting premises. They have long, wide wings and skyrocket like hawks, particularly when moving.

Movement Pattern and Timing

The short- eared owl is partly migratory. Populaces in north areas will certainly relocate southern throughout wintertime. In The United States and Canada, those that reproduce in Canada breakthroughs to the USA throughout wintertime. On the other hand, some populaces in the North USA and components of South America remain in their atmospheres year- round.


Short- eared owls are predators that quest by flying reduced to the ground.

What Does the Short-Eared Owl Eat?

Their diet is composed primarily of rodents, such as voles, lemmings, and mice. They likewise eat shrews, rabbits, gophers, bats, weasels, and muskrats. Brief- eared owls sometimes eat various other birds, particularly in seaside areas. They quest by flying reduced to the ground and floating previously falling on their victim. They search for food mainly by noise, generally around dawn and sundown.

Predators, Dangers, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes the short- eared owl as LC or “least concern.” Because of its comprehensive variety and exceptionally big population, this species does not satisfy “endangered” condition limits. These birds are vulnerable to environment loss, crashes with wind generators and lorries, searching, and chemical consumption. Future hazards consist of endangered young from springtime warm front and environment loss from wildfires.

What Consumes the Brief-Eared Owl?

The short- eared owl is vulnerable to diurnal raptors, such as bald eagles, north goshawks, red- trailed hawks, and snowy owls. They likewise nest on the ground, that makes their eggs and young targets for animal predators like dogs, foxes, coyotes, skunks, ravens, gulls, and crows. They utilize camouflage as a deterrent however will fearlessly strike trespassers when endangered.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Short- eared owls are seasonally virginal and do “skies dancings” throughout courtship. Females lay 6 to 8 white eggs and nurture them for 24 to 37 days, while the males bring food. Both moms and dads help in feeding their young and relentlessly protect their nests by making loud sounds, posturing, and chasing. The young fledge the nest 12 to 18 days after hatching out and can fly at 27 to 36 days. This species gets to sex-related maturation at one year and has an ordinary life expectancy of 4.8 years, however it can live greater than 12 years in the wild.


The international brief- eared owl population is approximated to number 1.2 to 2.1 million fully grown people. Europe develops 14% of its international variety, with 169,000 to 284,000 people. From 1970 to 2017, there was a 68% decrease in its numbers in The United States and Canada. Nonetheless, fads for this species are hard to establish because of its nomadic nature. It is unidentified if their population is still decreasing.



  1. Connecticut Deparment of Energy and Environmental Protection, Available here:
  2. Red List / BirdLife Internation, Available here:

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