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Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

(Asio flammeus)

Description

(wingspan: 36’’-39’’) Short-eared Owls are named for their short feather tufts which can only be seen when the bird is agitated or alarmed. Their round head has a light colored facial disk with dark patches that surround their yellow eyes. Their head is dark brown outside the facial disk with streaks going down their chest and tapering off at the belly. Sandy colored feathers underneath the streaks are found on the chest and belly. Their back and wings are darkly colored with light patches and their tail is striped.

Diet

Small mammals such as voles make up the majority of their diet.

Migration

These owls can be found in Colorado year-round.

Breeding

Short-eared Owls will make their nests on the ground and line them with grasses and feathers. These owls most often make their nests in marsh or grasslands. The female typically lays five to six eggs per brood and the babies grow relatively fast and fledge in about two weeks.

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