The Long Eared Owl constitutes the name of a species of owl endemic to Asia, Europe, and North America. Throughout much of its natural range, the Long Eared Owl coexists with the physically very similar short-eared owl.
The two remain most easily distinguished while at rest. At that time, the ear tufts of the Long Eared Owl appear clearly visible. The eyes of the two species also appear different in color.
There are four recognized subspecies. In general, the short-eared owl stays much lighter in coloring. The two species are most readily distinguished from each other while in flight.
Long Eared Owl Physical Characteristics
The Long Eared Owl develops as an owl of medium size, with a moderate of sexual dimorphism. Individuals of this animal average roughly 16 in (40 cm) in length. Wingspans average about 39 in (100 cm), and adult body weight varies but averages 15.3 oz (435 g).
The female also grows larger and heavier than the male, as well as darker in coloring.
The prominent ear tufts generally develop black in color centered on the head. The feathers usually appear brown in color, with vertical darker stripes. The eyes of this species grow quite large.
Long Eared Owl Behavior Patterns
The Long Eared Owl evolved as partially migratory. They commonly move southward within their native range, during the winter months.
They also primarily inhabit forests that developed close to open areas. This provides a combination of protective cover and good hunting. They typically make their nests in coniferous trees. Breeding occurs between February and July and clutches average 4-6 eggs.
They generally hunt at night, and the raptor remains renowned for being virtually silent while hunting. Their principal prey consists of small mammals, rodents, and other birds.