Long-Eared Owl

Asio otus

The Long-Eared Owl inhabits dense vegetation next to open grassland or shrub-land, and open forests across North America and Eurasia.

Long-Eared Owls often use crow and raven nests to raise their young. Their primary prey of choice is small mammals, but in lean times they will take birds and insects for nourishment.

Owls have specialized ears, set asymmetrically on their head, one side higher than the other. Thes gives them three-dimensional hearing. The Long-Eared Owl’s ears are more highly developed than most of their peers.

Science recognises four subspecies (some say six) of Long-Eared Owl in two groups. In the American group is A. o. wilsonianus in the east and A. o. tuftsi in the west. In the Eurasian group is A. o. otis and A. o. canariensis (found only in the Canary Islands).

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