The Long-eared Owl is a medium sized owl, 31-40 cm (12-16 in) in length with an 86-100 cm (34-39 in) wingspan and a body mass of 178-435 g. It has erect blackish ear-tufts, which are positioned in the center of the head. The ear-tufts are used to make the owl appear larger to other owls while perched. The female is larger in size and darker in coloration than the male. The Long-eared Owl?s brownish feathers are vertically streaked. The tarsus and toes are entirely feathered.


Habitat and Distribution

It is a species of owl which breeds in Europe, Asia, and North America. This bird is partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its temperate range. Its habitat is forest close to open country.


Feeding

The Long-eared Owl hunts over open country by night. Its food is mainly rodents, small mammals, and birds.


Breeding

The Long-eared Owl's breeding season is from February to July. It nests in trees, often coniferous, using the old stick nests of other birds such as crows, ravens and magpies and various hawks. The average clutch size is 4-6 eggs, and the incubation time averages from 25-30 days. It will readily use artificial nesting baskets.


Calls and Songs

The young have a characteristic call, likened to a rusty hinge.