Deep Dive: Long-Eared Owls

by OBDK on December 13, 2021

Long-Eared Owls, unlike Short-Eared Owls, have long ear tufts that make them stand out! These owls have interesting markings that help them camouflage, and have an orange colored face.1 Their tufts are black and orange, and their yellow eyes have two lines of white between them.2 


These owls are nocturnal and camouflage themselves during the day while roosting and hunt at night.1&2  They hang out in trees while they’re not hunting, and then they prefer to hunt in open areas like grasslands, where they’ll go after local rodents.2&3


These owls don’t make their own nests, but will take over abandoned nests, like old crow, raven, or hawk nests.3 They stand about 14-16 inches tall, and have a wingspan of 35-39.5 inches. There is some variation in the coloring of these birds. For example, Long-Eared Owls that live in the western regions of North America tend to have more orange faces than their eastern counterparts.2


In case you missed it, check out our deep dive on barn owls

  1. Sibley’s Owls of North America, by David Allen Sibley. Published by Earth Sky + Water, LLC. 2016.



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