Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Short-Eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

Latin Etymology: Asio (specific designate of Long-eared Owl) flammeus ("fiery" or "flammulated"")
Adult Short-Eared Owl (subspecies A. f. flammeus) at Harrington Airfield, Northants - December 2011

Featured Subspecies: Asio flammeus flammeus
Weight: 210-475g  /  Length: 32-43cm  /  Wingspan: 85-110cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Short-Eared Owl is perhaps one of the most visually striking UK owls, with its large yellow eyes.  Found on moorland for much of the year, it migrates south to more hospitible climes during the Winter where it may form roosts of multiple individuals, sometimes mixed with Long Earred Owls.  Unlike most owls, it is primarily a daylight flying bird, thus making it theoretically easier to see than all other species, it is however conversely more localised than Barn, Tawny or Little, so you actually need a reliable site to find them. 

Related Species:
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Asio

Subspecies: A. f. flammeus, A. f. sandwichensis, A. f. domingensis, A. f. bogatensis, A. f. suinda, A. f. sanfordi, A. f. ponapensis, A. f. galapogoensis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding species (600-2200 pairs) and scarce to locally abundant eruptive Winter visitor (5000-50000 birds)
 - Sites in good years have included Rutland Water, Harrington AirfieldSheppey and Elmley Marshes

Further Notes: 
BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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