The owl was initial delineate in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778). alternative Names for owls area unit yankee Long-eared raptor, Brush Owl, Cat Owl, Pussy Owl, Lesser hooter, Ceder raptor and Coulee raptor.
[For facilitate with terms utilized in the outline, see components of associate degree raptor. For general characteristics common to most raptor species, see raptor physiology.]
The owl may be a medium-sized solid ground raptor. they need distinguished ear tufts that seem to sit down within the middle of the top and area unit sometimes command erect. feather is brown and buff, with significant marking and exclusion over most of the body. Male feather tends to be lighter than females. The eyes area unit golden yellow, facial disk pale ochraceous-tawny (Eurasia, Africa) to rufous (North America). The bill is black. The forehead and lores area unit dappled gray and white and there's a white chin patch. The legs and feet area unit heavily feathered.
Juveniles area unit the same as adults however less heavily marked. the top tufts area unit shorter and fewer outlined and facial disk darker. Body feathers area unit tipped with achromatic white.
Size: Length females 37cm (14.6"), males 34cm (13.4") average.
Wingspan females 100cm (39"), males 96cm (38") average.
Weight females 282g (10oz), males 259g (9oz) average.
Habits: Nocturnal, with activity ordinarily begining at time of day. they seem slim and slouch forward once alert. Long-eared Owls area unit buoyant fliers, showing to glide soundlessly even once their wings area unit flap. they're terribly maneuverable and might fly through fairly dense brush. They fly moth-like, usually hovering and flutter whereas craving for prey. once roosting, a owl can stretch its body to form itself appear as if a limb.
Voice: the most advertising decision of the male may be a low "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, .....", continual ten to two hundred times, with one note each two to three seconds. the feminine responds with a rasping buzz decision, and infrequently duets with the male. job happens nearly always throughout nocturnal hours. once afraid, Long-eared Owls bark "whek-WHEK-whek" or shriek sort of a cat. each males and females hiss throughout exchange of prey or once afraid. throughout appeal, the male flies around and flaps its wings below its body, manufacturing a applause sound. Fledged young decision with high-pitched, drawn-out feeh notes.
Hunting & Food: Long-eared Owls hunt in the main by locomote over open ground, clearings, and fallow fields. They seldom hunt in woodlands wherever they roost and nest. They hunt in the main from late time of day to only before dawn, flying low to the bottom, (1 to two meters (3 to seven feet)), with the top atilt to 1 aspect listening for prey. once prey is noticed, the raptor pounces directly, promise the prey to the bottom with its powerful talons. Smaller prey is sometimes engulfed directly, or frantic within the bill. Larger prey is carried within the talons.
Long-eared Owls feed totally on mammals. In most area unitas voles are the foremost common prey, however ruminant mice area unit the foremost necessary prey in alternative areas. In southwestern deserts, pocket mice and marsupial rats area unit primary foods. alternative craniate prey includes squirrels, bats, chipmunks, gophers, shrews, moles, and wood rabbit rabbits. Birds are taken, often on the wing. Most bird prey area unit smaller species that occur on or close to the bottom. Bird prey includes meadowlarks, blackbirds, juncos, bicornuate Larks, doves, bluebirds, and thrashers. Larger birds like grouse and screech-Owls area unit often taken. Long-eared Owls generally eat insects, frogs, and snakes.
Pellets area unit fairly giant, about 5.1 centimetres (2 inches) long and one.9 centimetres (0.75 inches) thick. Pellets area unit oval or cylindrical, greyish, and compact with several bones, skulls, and teeth. they're regurgitated three to four hours once ingestion.
Breeding: Males occupy nesting territories initial and will begin their territorial job in winter. Nesting happens in the main from middle March through could in North America. throughout appeal, males perform show flights around nests. show flights involve erratic flight and flap through the trees with occasional single wing claps. Females respond by giving their nest decision. the feminine selects a nest by hopping around it, whereas the male displays higher than. She then performs show flights yet, and flies repeatedly to the nest. Leading up to sex activity, the male approaches the feminine once job and acting show flights, then waves his wings as he sidles up to her. Mutual preening and appeal feeding additionally occur. once pairing, adults roost approximate, however the feminine tends to roost on the nest once it's been chosen.
Long-eared Owls nest nearly solely in previous stick nests of crows, magpies, ravens, hawks, or herons. They nest seldom in rock crevices, tree cavities, or on open ground. Nests area unit nearly always placed in braky sites, usually screened by shrubbery, vines, or branches and area unit normally five to ten meters (16 to thirty three feet) higher than ground.
Long-eared Owls have a formidable nest defence show - the feminine spreads her wings out wide facing the trespasser, flares her flight feathers, and lowers her head. This show makes her seem two to three times as giant as she very is. They additionally perform a distraction show close to nests, wherever the raptor pretends to capture prey, or feign injury, and flop faraway from the nest on the bottom creating numerous noises. they'll often attack brutally, aiming the talons at the face and throat of the trespasser.
Old nests area unit lined with bark strips, feathers, leaves, and nonvascular plant before eggs area unit arranged . Clutch sizes vary from three to eight eggs, with a mean of four to five eggs. Clutch sizes tend to extend from south to north and from east to west. Eggs area unit arranged on an irregular basis each one to five days and incubation begins with the primary egg arranged , so a clutch of half-dozen eggs could hatch over a amount of ten to twelve days. the feminine performs the incubation that lasts twenty five to thirty days. Nestlings begin to run out of the nest onto near branches at regarding three weeks, however aren't capable of flight till regarding five weeks. Young become freelance from folks at regarding two months. Nesting success is powerfully connected to food accessibility and predation. Long-eared Owls area unit sometimes single-brooded, but double-brooding has been ascertained. If a clutch of eggs is lost, a replacement clutch is also arranged regarding 3 weeks later.
Densities of breeding birds area unit comparatively low, except once native food and nesting surround accessibility enable loosely colonial nesting.
Mortality: Captive Long-eared Owls are better-known to measure for over ten years. several area unit killed by shooting and collision with vehicles. Natural enemies of adult birds embrace nice bicornuate and Barred Owls. Raccoons area unit major predators of eggs and nestlings.
Habitat: Long-eared Owls inhabit open woodlands, forest edges, bank strips on rivers, hedgerows, juniper thickets, woodlots, and braky ravines and gullies. Breeding surround should embrace thickly braky areas for nesting and roosting with near open areas for looking. throughout winter, they have dense gymnospermous tree groves or bosky thickets to roost in. Roosting sites area unit sometimes within the heaviest forest cowl obtainable. they'll additionally roost in hedgerows, or in caves and cracks in rock canyons.
Unlike most alternative Owls, throughout winter they will roost communally (7 to fifty Owls) in dense thickets and vary over terribly giant assailable search areas. Communal roost sites area unit usually used year once year, in all probability by an equivalent birds.
Long-eared Owls area unit cosmopolitan in North America, Eurasia and northern continent.