Long-eared owl Facts

Long-eared owl Facts
Long-eared owl is medium-sized owl that belongs to the family of true owls. There are 4 subspecies of long-eared owl that can be found in the North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and on the few islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Long-eared owl inhabits densely vegetated areas and open coniferous and deciduous forests near the grasslands. Number of long-eared owls in some areas is declining due to habitat loss, competition for food with other species of owl and increased nest predation. Luckily, global population of long-eared owl is still large and stable.
Interesting Long-eared owl Facts:
Long-eared owl can reach 12 to 16 inches in length and 7.8 to 15.3 ounces of weight. Females are larger than males.
Long-eared owl has combination of black, brown, grey, creamy and white plumage on the back. Front side of the body is whitish-grey to yellowish-brown in color and covered with dark brown streaks and bands. Females are darker-colored compared with males.
Long-eared owl has large, orange eyes, hooked beak, big black ear tufts on the head, prominent reddish-brown facial disk, large, rounded wings and strong talons. Its legs and toes are covered with feathers.
Long-eared owl is active during the night (nocturnal bird).
Long-eared owl has keen sense of hearing which facilitates detection of food. Thanks to the ability to fly silently, it approaches the prey completely unnoticed.
Long-eared owl hunts and eats small mammals such as mice, shrews, pocket gophers and voles. It swallows the prey in one piece and regurgitates undigested parts in the form of pellet usually the next day.
Long-eared owl is solitary bird. It sometimes roosts in the groups of 2 to 20 birds and produces barking noise when it is disturbed.
Natural enemies of long-eared owls are large species of owl, hawks, eagles and foxes.
Long-eared owl spends entire year in the same area, or migrates toward the south to the wintering grounds during the autumn.
Mating season of long-eared owls takes place between February and July.
Males emit low hooting calls that can be heard 0.7 miles away to attract females.
Long-eared owls form monogamous couples. They use abandoned nests of other birds or lay their eggs in the crevices of rocks. Long-eared owls sometimes build nest on the ground.
Female lays 5 to 7 eggs that hatch after 26 to 28 days. Female is responsible for the incubation of eggs, while male provides food during this period.
Chicks often leave the nest shortly after hatching and reside in the surrounding vegetation until they learn to fly at the age of 35 days. They depend on their parents for food few more weeks after fledging. Long-eared owls reach sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Long-eared owl can survive up to 27 years in the wild.

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