Special Feature: Birds of Prey
Long Eared Owl
by Alex Lee, age 13
The long-eared owl is a unique species of bird that lives in southern Wisconsin.
This owl is medium sized with a wingspan of three feet and an average height of 14 to 16 inches. They also have noticeably long ear tuffs, white feathers forming an X between their yellow eyes, big chests, thin bodies, and spotted brown feathers.
An expert at finding and hunting mice and other small mammals in the dark, the long-eared owl flies over open fields before killing its prey with a bite to the back of the skull. They usually lay their eggs in abandoned crow or hawk nests.
People may want to see this owl in the wild, but many humans have trouble finding the long-eared owl because their appearance lets them blend in to their natural surroundings.
[Source: Southern Wisconsin Atlas and Field Guide]