Short-Eared Owl in Winter

short eared owl
Short eared owl. Image by cadop from Pixabay

Appearance: Short-eared owls are medium-sized owls at about 14-17″ long. They’re brown spotted birds with tan, white, and ivory on the upper parts. The face is lighter and the eyes are yellow surrounded by black. As you would expect, their ears are so short they appear to be missing. Females are the same.

Winter Diet: Small mammals such as shrews, moles, rabbits, gophers, bats, and rodents in which they first decapitate and then swallow the prey whole.

Winter Feeder food: Short-eared owls do not visit feeders.

Habitat: In winter, short-eared owls inhabit most of the entire northern hemisphere including the US, Canada, and Mexico. They prefer open grassland areas so they can perch on the ground or low in trees looking for prey.

Range Map

Short-eared owl range map.
Short-eared owl range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.