galapagos
short eared owl

galapagos short eared owl facts

Name: Short-eared Owl
Family: Strigidae
Scientific Name: Asio flammeus
Length: 34 – 42 cm (13.4 – 16.5 in)
Weight: 206–475 g (7.3–16.8 oz)
Wingspan: 90 – 105 cm (35.4 – 41.3 in)

Category: Land Birds
Number of Species: 49
Endemic Species: 22

In total, 49 species of land birds have been recorded in the Galapagos, 22 of which are endemic to the Islands. Land birds can be divided into 5 categories: Diurnal Raptors, Night Birds, Larger Land Birds, Aerial Feeders and Smaller Land Birds.

Category: Night Birds
Endemic Subspecies: Barn owl, Short-eared Owl

Just three species of night birds have been recorded in Galapagos, two of which are resident with endemic subspecies. Each of the species represents a different group. Owls are commonly seen during a Galapagos trip.

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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