Long-eared Owl - Asio otus

This winter some local birders got to see quite a sight. Long-eared owls will often group up in the non-breeding season, and create sort of winter safety pods. Normally very wary of human activity, a group ranging from 3 to sometimes 13 roosted in a very conspicuous pine tree in an urban area here for several weeks. It was a once in a lifetime chance for many to see this species up close. Asio otus is a master of camouflage, and when disturbed will elongate itself to blend in with tree trunks, or simply fly away. This particular group of owls sat like a bunch of fat cats, sleeping, yawning, preening, in a tree very near a busy sidewalk. Every once in a while one would slowly creak open an eye to take a peek at the nutty bunch of hominids gawking away, of which I was one. I worked on an asio (not one from the local group!) last week and prepared a study skin of it, and it was incredibly beautiful. Their furry talons and thick plumage, make them seem more mammal than avian to me sometimes.


  1. Your work is so very beautiful... I am happy to have stumbled across your blog.


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