Long and Short-eared Owls: January 20, 2022

Downsview park is the perfect winter habitat for Long and Short-eared Owls. These unusual birds prefer expansive open fields, grasslands or marshes. The Long-ears are mostly nocturnal while the Short-ears are often seen in daylight.

Both focus their diet almost entirely on small rodents, especially voles, which often compose most of their diet. They also hunt various small mammals, small birds, small snakes, lizards, and insects.

We were thrilled to see three Long-eared Owls and one Short-eared this morning.

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
photographing a Long-eared owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl

Other birds:

Red-tailed Hawk
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-tailed Hawk
Northern Cardinal (male)

Park scenes:

Squirrel nest

Some botany:

Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Great Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadense)
White Spruce (Picea glauca)
Teasle (Dipsacus fullonum)
Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

This morning’s group in -14 degree weather:

NATURE POETRY

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.               – Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94)

Miles Hearn

4 thoughts on “Long and Short-eared Owls: January 20, 2022

    1. Arlette Lefebvre

      Loved the bull thistle picture!

      A red-tailed hawk flew so close to my balcony
      To show me dark belly bands (according to my Peterson)?.

      Beautiful day for a walk in the park.
      Too late for me to register in another class,
      But happy just accessing such beautiful photos
      And website for my registration fee.
      Arlette
      ( aka Dr.Froggie)

      Reply
  1. Lisa Volkov

    Oh, how absolutely wonderful! (Even if they are eating cute little critters–we all have to eat!) I also wish I was able to join you in person!
    Great to see it here!

    Reply

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