This week, we continue our Missouri Owls blogs! While we hear owls often enough, especially at night, chances are we do not know much about them. We know they hoot and…that’s it! We may not even realize that there are several different owl species in Missouri alone. Please join us in venturing beyond the hooting and learning more about the different owl species, continuing with the Short-Eared Owl.
As you can probably infer from its name, the Short-Eared Owl is well-known for its short ears. Their ears are so short that you can barely see the tufts amidst the feathers. You can see the ear tufts more easily when the Short-Eared Owl flies, however!
In addition to the typical owl hooting, the Short-Eared Owl makes a variety of other sounds: barks, hisses and even squeaks! Although this bird only grows to fifteen inches in length, it is still quite strong. Need proof? This owl feeds on rats, gophers, rabbits and even other birds!
Unfortunately, the Short-Eared Owl’s numbers are decreasing statewide. One reason is because the species often rests on the ground in prairies and grasslands. Since these sites are disturbed quite easily when people plow their fields or animals eat the grass, they nest elsewhere besides Missouri.
Thank you for joining us again this week! Next week, we will introduce you to the Short-Eared Owl’s opposite – the Long-Eared Owl. It promises to be exciting, so please come back next week. Remember – if you liked what you read, then please share this blog with your loved ones. We would definitely appreciate it!