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Long eared Owl

Long eared Owl
Photo Information
Copyright: Carl Adam Wegenschimmel (Carl-Adam) (53)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-22
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/3.7, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-28 15:58
Viewed: 3937
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Asio
Species: A. otus

A bird of temperate forests, the Long-eared Owl roosts and nests in trees by day and hunts in open areas by night. Though widespread and relatively common in its range, it is rarely seen.
Cool Facts

* It has been shown under controlled conditions that the Long-eared Owl can catch mice in complete darkness.

* Like some other owls, the Long-eared Owl has asymmetrical ear openings: the left ear opening is higher than the right. This positioning helps the bird to locate prey by sound.

* The hoot of the male Long-eared Owl can sometimes be heard up to 1 kilometer (0.7 mi) away.


* Size: 35-40 cm (14-16 in)
* Wingspan: 90-100 cm (35-39 in)
* Weight: 220-435 g (7.77-15.36 ounces)

* Medium-sized owl.
* Mostly brown and cryptically marked.
* Conspicuous "ear" tufts.
* Orange facial disk.
* White feathers form an X between eyes.

* Dark streaking and barring on chest and belly.
* Wings long and rounded.
* Dark patch at wrist on underside of wings.
* Eyes yellow.
* Fully feathered legs and feet.

Sex Differences

Sexes similar, male usually paler and smaller than female.

Similar to adult.


Dense vegetation adjacent to open grassland or shrubland, and open forests.

Small mammals; sometimes birds.

Hunts almost exclusively at night. Flies low over open ground, locating prey by ear. Kills prey with a bite to the back of the skull; often swallows prey whole.
Nest Type

Uses stick nests built by other bird species, including Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, and hawks. In rare cases, nests in cavities.

Egg Description

Clutch Size
2-10 eggs.

Condition at Hatching

Helpless, eyes closed, covered in white down.

Conservation Status

Listed as Endangered in Illinois, Threatened in Iowa, and as a species of special concern in several states. Habitat loss from land development is the probable cause of declines in California and New Jersey.
Other Names

Hibou moyen-duc (French)
Buho chico (Spanish)
Sources used to construct this page:

Marks, J. S., D. L. Evans, and D. W. Holt. 1994. Long-eared Owl (Asio otus). In The Birds of North America, No. 133 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists' Union. from Allaboutbirds.com

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: Long eared owlCarl-Adam 1 12-31 08:09
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Mariol Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 15 N: 1654] (8221)
  • [2008-12-28 17:17]

Nice work on this Long-eared Owl! Probably just a touch more sharpening.
Very well done.


What wonderful camouflage! I couldn't tell what it was from the thumbnail. Center weighted metering seemed to work well in this case. How close were you able to get to this fellow?

Happy New Year!

Evelynn : )


What I really like about this picture is that is shows how well an owl can blend into the surroundings and hide during the day. Your shot makes me wonder how many owls I've walked or driven by without realizing it was there.... Probably quite a few. At any rate, its a great shot. BTW, I really like the fact that you started writing notes in your other shots taken while doing research. Those notes really help. TFS.

Best Regards,


Nice capture Carl. It's great to see the trigs it camoflages itself with. TFS Trevor

nice camouflage, TFS Ori

Hi Carl
Interesting and mimetic species! Great capture of this Asio otus.
Happy New Year!

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