Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

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Habitat

Status

Special Concern (Federal)
Blue List (Provincial)

Description

This owl has a large rounded head with yellow eyes set in distinctive black eye sockets. The facial disk is fringed with white. Its very small ear tufts are rarely visible. In flight this owl often appears to be neckless. It has a mottled brown back and creamy-colored front with vertical brown streaks.

Short-eared Owls prefer open grassy habitats with low vegetation like grasslands, prairie, old pastures, and occasionally agricultural fields. A large factor in influencing its habitat choice is food abundance.
Nests are built on the ground in a cup of grass.

Threats

-Intensive development destroys suitable habitat
-Intensive livestock grazing
-Farm activity such as mowing and haying can destroy nests and eggs
-Collisions with vehicles, barbed wire fences and electricity lines
-Decrease in available prey due to poisoning and trapping
-Predation from feral cats and dogs

You Can Help!

-Conserve and protect wildlife habitat
-Do not disturb or develop known nesting sites
-Avoid intensive cattle grazing in areas of known nesting sites
-Time mowing to prevent destruction of active nests

Resources