• Peak Breeding Activity: March-June
• Incubation: 21-37 days
• Clutch Size: 5-7 eggs
• Young Fledge: 24-36 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: voles, mice, and other small mammals
• Ohio Status: Species of Special Interest
The short-eared owl is a tawny brown color, rather heavily streaked with black, with patches around the eyes. The ear tufts are so short that they are barely visible. This crow-sized, long-winged bird is best identified by its flight -- a fluttering, low over the ground, erratic, moth-like flight.
Habitat and Habits
This owl is an occasional winter visitor. The "prairie owl," as it is sometimes called, lives in grasslands, cattail marshes, or other similar open country habitats. A few of them nest in the Lake Erie marshes.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The nest, containing five to seven white eggs, is a grass-lined ground depression. The male provides food and defends the nest while the female takes care of incubating and brooding the young.