Short eared owl

Short eared owl

A short eared owl perches on a Wyoming big sagebrush, waiting for prey.

Item Metadata for:
Title: Short-eared Owl
Alternative Title: Asio flammeus
Creator: Koerner, Tom
Description: A short eared owl perches on a Wyoming big sagebrush, waiting for a sagebrush vole, cottontail rabbit, or other prey to show itself.

A bird of open landscapes, the short-eared owl is one of the most widely distributed owls in the world. It is found across North America, South America, and Eurasia, and on many oceanic islands.

It hunts day and night; mainly at dawn and dusk in winter. Flies low over open ground, locating prey by ear. Kills prey with a bite to the back of the skull; often swallows prey whole.

Short-eared Owl populations declined by 2.5 percent per year between 1966 and 2010, resulting in a cumulative decline of 67 percent, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million with 14 percent spending some part of the year in the U.S., 11 percent in Canada, and 3 percent wintering in Mexico. The 2014 State of the Birds Report listed them as a Common Bird in Steep Decline, and they rate a 12 out of 20 on the Partners in Flight Continental Concern Score. They are more common in the northern portion of their breeding range, but populations fluctuate greatly along with prey population cycles.

While not rare on Seedskadee NWR, they are a pretty special sighting. A few may spend the winter here, or pause to rest and feed during migrations.
FWS Resource Links:;;;
Subject: Birds; Wildlife viewing; Wildlife refuges;
Location: Wyoming;
Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Date of Original: 2014-12-26
Type: Still Image
Format: JPG
Item ID: 129_1_02_15928527278_5a5498d803_o.jpg
Source: NCTC Image Library
Language: English
Rights: Public domain
File Size: 3324042 Bytes
Height: 1735
Width: 2536
Color Space: RGB
Original Format: Digital
Full resolution: Volume422/129_1_02_15928527278_5a5498d803_o.jpg
Date created: 2016-06-03
Date modified: 2016-06-03

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