- 13.4–16.9 in
- 33.5–40.6 in
- 7.3–16.8 oz
- Hibou des Marias (French)
- Lechuza de la penas (Spanish)
- The Short-eared Owl may compete with the Barn Owl in some areas. Some successful nest box programs to attract Barn Owls have coincided with the decline of the Short-eared Owl in the same area.
- The Short-eared Owl is one of the few species that seems to have benefited from strip-mining. It nests on reclaimed and replanted mines south of its normal breeding range.
Open country, including prairie, meadows, tundra, moorlands, marshes, savanna, and open woodland; in the Hawaiian Islands also around towns; nesting on the ground.
Small mammals; sometimes birds.
- Clutch Size
- 1–11 eggs
- Egg Description
- Creamy white.
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless, eyes closed, covered in down.
Scrape in ground lined with grasses.
Hunts day and night; mainly at dawn and dusk in winter. Flies low over open ground, locating prey by ear. Kills prey with a bite to the back of the skull; often swallows prey whole.
Declining in southern portion of range. Listed as of special concern, threatened, or endangered in some states. Common in northern portion of breeding range, but populations fluctuate greatly along with prey population cycles.
- Holt, D. W. and S. M. Leasure. 1993. Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus). In The Birds of North America, No. 62 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists' Union.