Saturday, 5 December 2015

Bird of the week - Short-eared owl

The short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) is a top bird and attracts a lot of attention in autumn and early winter.  It is the most accessible British owl as it flies in the daytime while hunting for voles.

It has been a good season so far for short-eared owls locally, with birds flying at many points up the North East coast. This graph shows the BTO BirdTrack reporting rate for the UK this year.

The breeding population is small and is mainly confined to northern uplands but in winter the population is swelled by migrants from Scandinavia and northern Europe.  The maps are from the Bird Atlas.

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the day on short-eared owl here.  Read more about short-eared owls here.  Watch a BTO video on short and long-eared owls here.

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