Short-eared Owl is a species of typical owl (family Strigidae). Owls belonging to genus Asio are known as the eared owls, as they have tufts of feathers resembling mammalian ears. These "ear" tufts may or may not be visible. Asio flammeus will display its tufts when in a defensive pose. However, its very short tufts are usually not visible. The Short-eared Owl is found in open country and grasslands. The word flammeus is Latin for "flaming, or the color of fire".
Asio flammeus, the Short-eared Owl, is a medium-sized owl measuring 34–43 cm (13–17 in) in length and weighing 206–475 g (7.3–16.8 oz). It has large eyes, big head, short neck, and broad wings. Its bill is short, strong, hooked and black. Its plumage is mottled tawny to brown with a barred tail and wings. The upper breast is significantly streaked . Wingspans range from 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in). Females are slightly larger than males. The yellow-orange eyes of A. flammeus are exaggerated by black rings encircling each eye, giving the appearance of them wearing Mascara, and large, whitish disks of plumage surrounding the eyes like a mask.
The Short-eared Owl occurs on all continents except Antarctica and Australia; thus it has one of the largest distributions of any bird. A. flammeus breeds in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Galápagos Islands. It is partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its range. The Short-eared Owl is known to relocate to areas of higher rodent populations. It will also wander nomadically in search of better food supplies during years when vole populations are low. See a map of the Short-eared Owl's distribution across the New World.
Short-eared Owls have a scratchy bark-like call. Raspy waowk, waowk, waowk or toot-toot-toot-toot-toot sounds are common. A loud eeee-yerp is also heard on breeding grounds. However, Short-eared Owls are silent on the wintering grounds
Ort: Howell, Michigan, USA
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