Short-Eared Owl Facts

  • Scientific Name:
    Asio flammeus
  • Family:
    Strigidae
  • Length:
    34 - 42 cm (13.4 - 16.5 in)
  • Wingspan:
    90 - 105 cm (35.4 - 41.3 in)
Galapagos Short Eared Owls

The typical owls are small to large-sized, mainly nocturnal, birds of prey with long, broad, rounded wings; hooked bills; relatively short, powerful legs; and sharp, curved talons. The only species to occur in Galápagos, the Short-eared Owl, is medium-sized and readily told from the Barn Owl by its mainly dark plumage, dark, circular facial disc and yellow eyes. The sexes are alike and immature plumages resemble adult plumage.

Identification:

A fairly large, rather long-winged, brown owl with short, often inconspicuous, ear-tufts. Upperparts heavily mottled and streaked dark brown and buff; wings dark brown with buff spots; underparts slightly paler than upperparts with brown streaking, heaviest on the breast; facial disc dusky brown, bordered breast with narrow black and white lines; eyes yellow. In flight, underwings pale with black crescent in carpal area and black wing-rips. Sexes alike, although females appreciably larger than males.

Behavior:

Most active during the early morning and late evening, quartering the ground with slow, deep wingbeats, somewhat reminiscent of a harrier. Tends to feed nocturnally in areas where Galapagos Hawk is present.

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