Long Eared Owl Facts
- Most notably, the Long Eared Owl constitutes the name of a species of owl endemic to a very wide range. Also, throughout much of its natural range, the animal 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.
- Further, a total of four recognized subspecies exist. In general, the short-eared owl stays much lighter in coloring. Finally, the two species appear most readily distinguished from each other while in flight.
Long Eared Owl Physical Description
Firstly, the Long Eared Owl develops as an owl of medium size. However, it does display 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.
Further, 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 also grow quite large.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Strigiformes
- Family: Strigidae
- Genus: Asio
- Species: A. otus
Long Eared Owl Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Long Eared Owl evolved as partially migratory. However, it inhabits a wide swathe of Asia, Europe, and North America. The animal therefore commonly moves southward within its native range, during the winter months.
Individuals also primarily inhabit forests that developed close to open areas. This provides a combination of protective cover and good hunting. In addition, most typically make a nests in coniferous trees. Breeding occurs between February and July and clutches average 4-6 eggs.
Finally, it generally hunts at night, and the raptor remains renowned for being virtually silent while hunting. Its principal prey consists of small mammals, rodents, and other birds.