Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl ©

Order Strigiformes

Family Spheniscidae

Subfamily Asioninae

Genus Asio

Class Aves

Scientific Name

Asio flammeus

Other Names

Hibou des Marias (French)

Lechuza de la penas (Spanish)

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl’s nest

Thumbnail Description

  • The short-eared owl has a bat-like flight.
  • The owl is partially migratory as it spends winter in the south.
  • In North America the short-eared owl competes with the northern harrier.

Size & Weight

  • BODY-LENGTH: 34–43 cm (13–17 in)
  • WEIGHT: 206–475 g (7.3–16.8 oz)
  • WINGSPAN: 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in)


Savanna, prairie, meadow, tundra, heathland, shrubsteppe, dunes, meadows, coastal grasslands, marshes,


Europe, North America, Galapagos Islands, South America, Caribbean, Hawaii

Short-eared owl in its nest ©
Short-eared owl in its nest ©


Voles, ground squirrels, bats, mice, muskrats, moles, rats, shrews, gulls, shorebirds, starlings, larks, pipits, gulls, pocket gophers, storm-petrels, weasels, lemmings, rabbit, icterids, Hawaiian Thrush, tyrant flycatchers, katydids, terns, seabirds, grasshoppers, roaches, caterpillars, beetles


A. f. bogotensis, A. f. domingensis, A. f. flammeus, A. f. galapagoensis, A. f. pallidicaudus, A. f. ponapensis, A. f. portoricensis, A. f. sandwichensis, A. f. sanfordi, A. f. suinda, A. f. cubensis

Number of Eggs

1 – 11 eggs

Eggs Size

LENGTH: 1.5–1.7 in (3.7–4.3 cm)

WIDTH: 1.2–1.4 in (3–3.5 cm)

Breeding Season

March – June

Incubation Period

21–37 days

Nestling Period

12–18 days

Fledging Period

28 days

Sexual Maturity

1 year






waowk, waowk, waowk, toot-toot-toot-toot-toot, eeee-yerp


Diurnal, crepuscular

Conservation Status

Least Concern