LONG-EARED OWL(Asio otus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Long-eared Owl has long dark ear tufts (as its name implies). The plumage is brown with vertical streaks. There is a beige-orange facial disk, and the eyes are orange-yellow. The legs and feet are covered with feathers. Sexes are similar, with females larger and darker. This owl is about 40 cm (16 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Asio-otus
NAME: The name ‘Owl’ is an onomatopoeia for the bird’s call and comes from Cockney. The genus Latin name ‘Asio’ means a ‘kind of horned owl’, and the Latin species name ‘otus’ refers to an eared owl.
HABITAT: Forests, preferably coniferous.
DIET: Small rodents, birds and reptiles.
NESTING: Uses stick nests built by other bird species. Will also use human-built nests if available. Around three to ten white eggs are laid, incubated by the female. She also feeds the chicks and the male feeds her.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range covers the southern part of Canada, Europe and Asia. Wintering range in North America includes a good part of the eastern half of the USA. It is a permanent resident in-between.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-eared_owl#/media/File:Asio_otus_distribution_map.png
ON PEI: Year-round resident on Prince Edward Island, but rare.
CONSERVATION: Widespread around the world, population difficult to estimate due to remoteness of habitat, but not at risk currently.
NOTES: Unusual for an owl, will roost in groups in the winter.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Great Horned Owl, Short-eared Owl
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/long-eared-owl
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/long-eared-owl (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Long-eared Owl - California, USA - Feb. 23, 2013 - © Jitze Couperus
Long-eared Owl – California, USA – Feb. 23, 2013 – © Jitze Couperus