Alternative name: Northern Long-eared Owl
- Asio otus
Male 35–38 cm (13¾-15 in), female 37–40 cm (14½-15¾ in); a medium sized owl
- Orange face
- Two long 'ears'
- Grey and rufous-buff overall plumage
When seen close to it can look surprisingly cat-like.
Breeds in Britain and Ireland, and from Iberia east to the Urals and Caspian, north to central Norway coast and head of the Gulf of Bothnia. Found south to the north Mediterranean coast from southern Spain to Greece and breeds on Balearics and at a few scattered sites in Turkey. Also breeds in the Azores and Canary Islands and rarely in North-West Africa. First breeding record for Egypt in 1987 and may breed at scattered sites in the Middle East.
Northern birds are mainly migratory, leaving breeding areas in October-November to winter in western and southern Europe, and returning in March-May, those further south are resident with some dispersal of young birds.
There are four recognised subspecies:
- A. o. tuftsi:
- A. o. wilsonianus:
- South-central and south-eastern Canada to south-central US
- A. o. otus:
- A. o. canariensis:
Deciduous, mixed and coniferous woodland and forest.
Nocturnal and crepuscular.
Diet is mainly voles and small rodents. They are also known to eat small birds.
It nests in old nest of other birds.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2015)
- Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
- Birdforum thread discussing id of young just out of the nest
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Long-eared Owl. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 19 June 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Long-eared_Owl