News archive

January 2018

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Bird of the Month - Long-eared Owl

January Bird of the Month - Long-eared Owl

In winter they form roosts in dense thickets of willow and hawthorn and in pine woods. If they are disturbed they will adopt an elongated posture and raise their ear tufts.

Sexes are alike, with heavy streaking on the whole body, orange eyes and ear tufts which are longer than those of the short-eared owl.

Nests are often in tall pines in isolated conifer plantations and old crows' nests or squirrel dreys can be utilised. There is one brood with 3-5 eggs laid between March and June. The young have a loud begging call which sounds like a squeaky gate and which is audible at distances of 1 km.

Voles are a favourite prey item but the long-eared owl will also hut from a perch or in flight and roosting birds also form part of its diet.

Click on the link to watch the short video by 'Wild Owl TV' to find out more about this superb bird.

Dungeness RSPB Reserve has recently announced that "Leo" has returned to its usual roosting place this winter, so hopefully we will be able to spot him/her during our walk there on Sunday 7 January 2018.