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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Long-eared Owl

Asio otus

  • Family: Owls – Strigidae
  • Appearance: Smaller and slimmer than Tawny Owl. Generally similar to Short-eared Owl, but has long ear tufts (though these are not always raised), bright orange eyes, streaking on underparts extending onto belly, and no white markings on trailing edge of wings. Flight erratic.
  • Size: Length 31–37 cm, wingspan 86–98 cm, weight 245–400 g.
  • Nest: In an old crow’s, magpie’s or squirrel’s nest.
  • Breeding: 3–7 eggs laid March–May, incubated by female for 27–32 days. Owlets able to fly within 25–26 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in woodlands in agricultural areas in Southern and Central Finland, scarcer further north but found as far north as Finnish Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 2,000–10,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Mainly migratory, though some birds winter in Finland. Autumn migration September–December, returning in March– April. Winters in Central and Southern Europe.
  • Diet: Small mammals.
  • Calls: A breathy “hoo” repeated at intervals of 2-3 seconds.

Long-eared owls appear generally rusty in colouring. They have long, fairly narrow wings. Fairly similar in appearance to Short-eared Owl, but has long ear tufts (though these are not always raised), bright orange eyes, a dark patch around the beak, and streaking on underparts extending onto belly with no clear border. Also lacks white markings on trailing edge of wings. Flight erratic. Long-eared Owls’ legs are covered with feathers. Their talons and beak are black.

When camouflaging themselves, Long-eared Owls stand erect stretching their bodies as much as possible. Their flight pattern is erratic.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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