Long-eared Owl

Photo by Bob Gress


Common Name: Long-eared Owl

Scientific Name: Asio otus


Length: 13 - 15 inches
Wingspread: 37 - 39 inches
Weight: 9 - 10 ounces


Comments: The long narrow ear tufts are the most distinctive field mark for identifying this owl. They are usually held erect while the bird is perched. They can be distinguished from great horned owls by their smaller size and lack of a white throat patch. During winter months these owls can be found in large communal roosts sometimes numbering dozens of birds. These roosts are usually located in red cedar groves.

Distribution: Long-eared owls are uncommon but can be found throughout the state.

Food: Rodents are their primary prey but insects and snakes are also taken. Although it seldom eats birds, when birds are captured they are usually taken off the ground or from low perches.