Short-Eared Owl

3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)
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No. 16 Short-Eared Owl Length 15 1/2 inches The Short-eared Owl differs from most members of its family in being a bird of the open country. It loves swamps and low, wet meadows, frequenting both coastal and inland marshes. In these, its favorite haunts, it preys upon mice and shrews, which constitute about 75 percent of its food. It very rarely preys upon birds. "Of 101 stomachs examined, 11 contained small birds, 77, mice; 7, other mammals; 7, insects; and 14 were empty." (Fisher.) This Owl is not at all shy, and is rarely flushed until almost stepped upon. Its flight is graceful and noiseless. During the winter single individuals are often met, but now and then small groups or even colonies numbering a hundred or more may be found. The nest is placed on the ground and is a rude affair of grass and sticks lined with fine material. Occasionally the nest is placed in low bushes. From three to five white eggs are laid. Classification: Order Raptores. Family Strigidae. Scientific name: Aso flammeus. Range: Nearly cosmopolitan, being distributed over a greater part of both hemispheres. No. 16 from set of 50 Winter Birds of the Northeastern United States. Published by the National Association of Audubon Societies, 1974 Broadway, New York City. Price per set, in a box, $1.00 post paid

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