long owl (The thing is) is a lanky owl that often appears to wear a surprised expression thanks to its long earlobes that typically point upward like exclamation points. They are agile flying birds, with hearing so sharp that they can capture prey in total darkness. In spring and summer, you will be able to hear their low, breathing screams and strange sounds at night.

The long-eared owl's facial expression is its most striking feature.
The long-eared owl's facial expression is its most striking feature.

Features

The long-eared owl is a medium-sized slender bird with tufts of long ears. The head, more or less as wide as it is long, appears square. The facial discs are long and narrow. They are fairly dark birds with orange or polished faces and an intricate black, brown, and polished pattern on their feathers. The tufts of the ears are black with bright or orange fringes, the face has two vertical white lines between the eyes, and the eyes are yellow.

These small vertebrates They have long, rounded wings and a long tail. The wings are so long that they are crossed on the back when the bird is perched. The wingspan of adults ranges from 90 to 100 cm. Owls are brownish-gray in color, with vertical streaks. They have pale spots on the face that look like eyebrows, and a white spot under the beak. They have black beaks, orange or yellow eyes, and feet and feet are covered with feathers. Long-eared owls have long, blackish tufts that look like ears, but are actually just feathers.

The females are usually much larger than the males. Females weigh 260 to 435 grams and are 27 to 40 cm long. Males weigh from 220 to 305 grams and are 35 to 37,5 cm long. The females are also darker than the males. The hatchlings appear to be adults, but have softer, looser feathers.

The long-eared owl is the slimmest of all North American owls. This shape helps them hide from predators. When perched, long-eared owls spread their bodies and flatten their feathers to resemble a tree branch.

The western long-eared owl tends to have more orangey faces than eastern birds, but there is a lot of variation in this characteristic.

Behavior

The long-eared owl is nocturnal and they generally spend days resting in dense parts of the trees, often near the trunk, where their plumage provides excellent camouflage. The species is quite vocal, and makes an incredible variety of screams, screeches, barks, and other noises. They hunt by low passes and running over open ground, but they rarely hunt before it really gets dark. In winter, the species often roosts in communities.

Communication

The long-eared owl uses calls to communicate. They have many calls that they use during the breeding season. During the rest of the year, most are silent. The most common calls are the soft musical sounds and the only shaky sounds. When excited, they can also scream or whistle. When the chicks are threatened, the parents use calls to scare away the predator. They can also pretend to be crippled to distract the predator from the nest. Long-eared owls use threatening displays when disturbed by humans or predators. They do not normally threaten each other.

They have excellent hearing and vision. These senses help them to be excellent hunters.

A long-eared owl perched.
A long-eared owl perched.

Habitat

They require a combination of grassland or other open ground for their food, and tall, dense shrubs or trees for nesting and resting. Pine stands and windbreaks or shelter belts are the preferred habitat for winter roosting.

Coniferous forests. Preferred habitat includes dense trees for nesting and resting, open ground for hunting. It inhabits a wide variety of places, including forests with vast grasslands, groves of conifers or deciduous trees in the grasslands, groves by the stream in the desert. Generally avoid intact forest.

Distribution

The long-eared owl can be found in several places including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, North America, Russia, UK, Wales.

Food

It hunts mostly at night, sometimes before dark, especially when feeding young. It feeds in fields or open forests, flying from one side of the earth to the other. It locates prey by sound or sight, then swoops down to capture it with its talons.

The diet of the long-eared owl is based mainly on small mammals. Normally feeds a lot on rodents common premises. Depending on the region, they can be mainly voles, deer mice, kangaroo rats, squirrels, etc. It is also known to eat small birds, shrews, bats, lizards, snakes and other small creatures.

Predators

The adult long-eared owl is preyed upon by many other raptors. Birds of prey that have been observed capturing owls include great horned owls, barred owls, royal eagles, red tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, northern azores, eagle owls, eagle vultures, common vultures and peregrine falcons. The incubating females have been killed by raccoons.

Long-eared owl chicks are vulnerable to predation by porcupines, bull snakes, american crows, black billed magpies y various species of hawks.

Adults are difficult to see because their coloration, slim body, and ear tufts help them to resemble a branch of the tree on which they perch. When a predator approaches a nest they defend the eggs or hatchlings by circling the nest and snapping their beaks at the predator, or bombarding the predator in a tailspin while making alarm calls. They can also pretend to be injured to keep the predator away from the nest. In some cases, adults from several nearby nests may make defensive displays when a single nest is threatened.

Reproduction

At the beginning of the breeding season, the male long-eared owl performs an aerial display, zigzagging around the nesting area with deep gliding and wing rhythms, occasionally clapping its wings under its body. The nest site is generally in the tree, usually near the middle level in the tree; sometimes on gigantic cacti or on the ledge of the cliff. They do not build nests; uses abandoned nests built by other birds, such as crows, magpies, various hawks.

Eggs

Like all birds, they are oviparous and they can lay 2 to 10, although they normally lay 4 to 6 eggs, white. Only the female is responsible for the incubation, usually 26 to 28 days. The male brings food for the female during the incubation period.

Hatchlings

The female stays with the young almost continuously for the first two weeks, while the male brings food for the females and the young. In the latter part of the nesting period, the female also hunts. The young climb from the nest to the nearby branches after about 3 weeks, they can make short flights to about 5 weeks. Adult males feed their young until 10-11 weeks of age, when they disperse from the area.

The plumage of a long-eared owl is warmly colored.
The plumage of a long-eared owl is warmly colored.

State of conservation

The situation is little known; local numbers rise and fall, but some studies and migration counts suggest that the overall North American population is declining. Loss of habitat may be part of the cause.

List of other interesting animals