The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a medium-sized bird, about 13 to 17 inches long. Wingspan is from 39 to 44 inches.
Body is tawny brown colored and streaked with brown, the belly is paler. The eyes are yellow. The ear tufts on the round head
are barely visible.
This owl is a short distance migrant, found throughout North America, wintering in the South. It is often seen during the
day, flying low to the ground with an irregular flight described as moth-like.
This owl lives in open areas with few trees, marshes and meadows, and likes to nest on the ground in a well hidden area
among reeds and grasses. The nest is lined with grasses and sticks and feathers. Breeding takes place during the months of
March through July. The female lays 5 to 7 eggs. The incubation period is from 21 to 28 days. The young fledge in about a
This owl feeds on small mammals like voles, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
An Inuit myth says that the short-eared owl was once a young girl who was magically transformed into an owl with a long
beak. The bird lost its long beak when it became startled and flew into the side of a house, flattening its face.