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 Short-eared Owl  (Asio flammeus )

Identification: Unlike the other owls, the Short-eared habitually hunts by day. However, it isn't safe to assume that a day-flying owl, even over moorland, is sure to be a Short-eared. To eliminate the possibility of it being a Long-eared you must look for either: a pale belly contrasting with a streaked head and chest, a white trailing edge to the wing, neater, more distinct barring on the uppertail, upperwing and under the wing tip and the yellow, rather than orange, eyes. Also, the colour of a Short-eared Owl varies from under-cooked biscuit-brown to overcooked biscuit-brown and never shows the warm rufous tones of a Long-eared. At rest, the ear tufts are hard to see but the yellow eyes are distinctively encircled by black.

Habitat: Breeds on boggy moorland, upland pasture, young conifer plantations and marshes. Winters in open moorland, grassland and marshes.

Distribution: A widespread breeding bird of open country, mainly in Scotland and northern England. A few pairs also breed on saltmarshes on the east coast. More numerous in winter, when it is most common on the east and south coasts.

Diurnal and therefore more easily seen than most owls. Widespread in northern Europe in summer, occurring in much of southern Europe in winter when coastal marshes and meadows (eg. in Holland) are particularly favoured.


 Source: Internet
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