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Long Eared Owl


The long-eared owl is medium-sized owl, smaller in size than a woodpigeon. It often looks long and thin, with head feathers (known as ear tufts even though they are not ears) which it raises when alarmed. It is buff-brown with darker brown streaks, and deep orange eyes. It breeds thinly across the UK with fewer birds in the south-west and Wales. Northern birds migrate southwards, including birds from Europe coming to spend the winter in the UK, while southern birds are residents and only move short distances to find food.


Where to see it:

the long-eared owl's natural habitat includes conifer plantations, copses, edges of large woodlands, thorn thickets and tall hedges; always where there is open country nearby.

It is nocturnal and secretive, so unlikely to be seen other than on migration (when birds may turn up on coasts at any time of day) or when leaving or returning to a communal roost site in winter. The Long eared owl's diet consists of small rodents, and small birds in winter.

The male's song is a drawn-out, low ‘oo…oo…oo’. The young birds make a drawn-out squeak, sounding like an unoiled hinge.

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