Deep Dive: Short-Eared Owls

by OBDK on December 06, 2021

Hi *|FNAME|*, 

Short-Eared Owls are slightly unusual owls that can be found in many places throughout the world. The only continents where you won’t find them are Australia and Antarctica.1 Within North America, they can be found all over, although it depends on the season. They’ll migrate for summer and winter, although there are some areas where they'll stay year-round.2


These owls are roughly the size of a crow. Their faces are striking, with yellow eyes that have black markings around them.3 Their feathers on their bodies have a streaky brown pattern.1 They like to hang out in open areas, like prairies, where you have a chance to see them during daylight hours. When they fly, their wings are floppy, making them look more like a moth than an owl. When they hunt, they’ll hunt rodents like voles, deer mice, and pocket mice.4


Within the United States, Short-Eared Owls have declined in the west. They also are considered threatened or endangered in some northeastern states. Overall, though, on a global scale, these owls aren’t considered threatened.1


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