This is where their streaked plumage really comes into its own, merging seamlessly with the surrounding branches, rendering the owl practically invisible. Hear more about that behavior in … The species breeds in many areas through Europe and the Palearctic, as well as in North America. Wing beats silent but abrupt and glides unheard close to hedges or ground. The genus name Asio is a type of eared owl, and otus also refers to a small, eared owl. Young owls are ready to leave the nest after about 3 weeks, at which point they graduate to the surrounding branches. The actual numbers of Long-eared Owls in Ireland is unknown - they are extremely difficult to survey as they are strongly nocturnal and usually very quiet when hunting.You can hear them calling for a mate in early spring with a low-pitched ‘hooo’.The young can often be very noisy when calling for food later in the year - their calls sound like a squeaky gate being opened. Nesting takes place in both coniferous and deciduous woodland, although the owls show a definite preference for the former. All Rights Reserved. Great horned owl. There are an estimated 1,500 to 3,000 pairs of long-eared owl breeding in Ireland. Of the two the long-eared owl is by far the most common, and is found across most of the country. These pellets often accumulate at nesting and roosting sites, offering a clue to this secretive owl’s presence. Once a suitable nest site has been found the female owl lays 4-5 white eggs that she incubates for 25-30 days. óskar elías sigurðsson. The persistent, resonant “hooo, hooo, hooo”, of the males and the softer, rasping response of the females can often be heard on clear spring nights if you wander into owl territory. begging call. Listen for a simple coo-coooo, coo-coooo, with a gentle little wheeze at the end: That's the species' main call. Northern pygmy owl. Nocturnal and incredibly well camouflaged, with dark shades of brown and beige in rich tawny plumage . Juveniles beg with a high-pitched squeak reminiscent of a rusty gate. They have an average body length of about 35 cm (c. 14 inches) and a wingspan between 90cm and 100 cm (35 inches and 40 inches). Elf owl. Burrowing owl. Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2014 – 2019. Sometimes the owls will rely on sound as a defense, mimicking rattlesnakes to keep encroaching predators away from their precious burrows. Eastern screech owl. Long-eared Owls are silent most of the year, but during breeding season they draw on a complex repertoire analogous to a songbird’s song. Ireland only has two resident owl species – the barn owl and the long-eared owl. © Ireland's Own 2020. Owlets are covered with a fluffy white down at first, but as they grow this is gradually replaced by their adult feathers. Hunts small mammals, frogs and birds. Monitored by. Some potential for confusion with Short-eared Owl but posture more upright in Long-eared Owl. Long-eared Owls don’t call in Winter either which makes them harder to detect. During winter, may occasionally gather in communal roosts of between 5 and 30 birds. The scientific name is from Latin. The most common and widespread owl in Ireland, but difficult to observe due to nocturnal habits. Long-eared Owls don’t call in Winter either which makes them harder to detect. Although owls will occasionally make their own nest by scraping a rough hollow in the ground or lining a hollow tree stump, they tend instead to choose old nests left behind by other birds – particularly those of hooded crows, magpies and sparrow hawks. Best found by listening for the distinctive calls of adults and young. Barred owl. As with most owls the females tend to be noticeably larger than the males, and have darker plumage. The most common and widespread owl in Ireland, but difficult to observe due to nocturnal habits. Perhaps under-recorded in Winter due to extremely good camouflage. Barn owl. Widespread resident throughout Ireland. Northern saw-whet owl. Long eared owls need open country like grassland, fallow fields and scrub land to hunt. Boreal owl. Northern hawk-owl. Bright yellow eyes and long erectile tufts resembling ears, however only serving a display function. Best found by listening for the distinctive calls of adults and young. It is a shy and elusive bird however, whose nocturnal habits coupled with excellent camouflage make it very difficult to spot. The persistent, resonant “hooo, hooo, hooo”, of the males and the softer, rasping response of the females can often be heard on clear spring nights if you wander into owl territory. By day they sit motionless on a branch, stretching their body vertically close to the main trunk of a tree. Their main prey in Ireland is the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), although they also take other small mammals, small birds and even large insects. Other owls. This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, of the family Strigi… What to do if you find a baby bird or injured bird? BirdTrack and Countryside Bird Survey. Largely resident, though young birds will wander in search of new territories. The name long-eared owl comes from the long feathered “ear-tufts” on top of the bird’s head that the bird can raise and lower at will. Great gray owl. Long-eared owls start to pair up in late winter or early spring. As with other owls, indigestible parts of the prey – fur, feathers and bones – are regurgitated as a cylindrical pellet some time after eating. Gives a rather quiet hooting display. These have absolutely nothing to do with the birds ears, but together with the piercing orange eyes they make the long-eared owl unmistakeable when at rest. Whatever the location, there always has to be open rough country nearby for the owls to hunt. Long-eared owls start to pair up in late winter or early spring. The owl species most likely to be seen in Ireland. Males give a series of 10 to more than 200 whoo notes evenly spaced about 2–4 seconds apart. Has been observed taking migrant birds disorientated at lighthouses and other bright lights. Celebrating 50 Years of Nature Conservation. They hunt from late dusk until just before dawn, flying low to the ground using a their acute hearing to pinpoint the slightest movement on the ground below. Males also conduct display flights at this time of year involving erratic gliding and flapping through the trees, punctuated by a regular clapping of the wings on every-other the down stroke. Breeds in lowlands throughout Ireland, usually in a stand of conifers. The long-eared owl (Asio otus), also known as the northern long-eared owl or, more informally, as the lesser horned owl or cat owl, is a medium-sized species of owl with an extensive breeding range. Rather silent outside of the breeding season. 0:00 / Long-eared owl (song) male, song. Long-eared owls are medium-sized owls, and are smaller than you might expect – somewhat smaller than a wood pigeon in size. Perhaps under-recorded in Winter due to extremely good camouflage. It may take a further two weeks before they finally take to the air. They may also nest in thorn thickets and tall, dense hedgerows. Long-eared owls have handsome buff brown plumage with darker brown streaks running through it. This deep and forceful utterance, akin to the sound made by blowing across the lip of a very large bottle, can be heard more than half a mile away. Flammulated owl. Tufts resembling ears, however only serving a display function s presence darker brown running! 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