The Travels of Tug 44

Long-Eared Owl

January 2019 - This is the only time I have managed to photo a Long-Eared Owl in the wild ... in the Fort Edward grasslands. This was on a dark & dreary day, and that is when one can occasionally spot a nocturnal Owl in daytime. It was sitting in a tree near where several Short-Eared Owls normally roost, they are roughly the same size, and are known to roost together.   high-res

The Long-Eared Owl turned and scanned the hay field, and then I was distracted for just a moment and the Owl was gone. It was in view only 30 seconds.   high-res

The Long-Eared Owl is similar to its lighter-colored short-eared cousin. They have about a 3 foot wingspread. They are in Fort Edward but are rarely if ever seen because they are nocturnal and extremely shy so they tend to roost in forested areas beyond the hay fields. I met this one at the Winter Raptor Fest at our local Washington County Fairgrounds.   high-res

The Long-Eared Owl, like most owls, can turn his head all the way backwards as in this photo. And they have a ring around their face of short stiff feathers, which directs sounds toward the ears which are hidden under the feathers. Sort of a listening device.   high-res

March 1, 2019, we were lucky to see this Long-Eared Owl roosting with its friends but this one was out in the open. Usually they are mostly hidden deep in the pine trees here. In winter they all roost together, and then venture out mostly at night to go hunting.   high-res

Long-Eared Owls are not often seen, as they tend to live and nest deep in the woods, and their camouflage is really excellent. We have them in Fort Edward year-round, but we just do not see them.   high-res

Long-Eared Owls mostly go after small rodents such as mice and voles ... but sometimes they will go after squirrels and even rabbits.   high-res

The Long-Eared Owl, a very shy night hunter.

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