Brief Summary

Read full entry


The short-eared owl's scientific name flammeus, meaning “fiery”, is a reference to its boldly streaked plumage, which provides excellent camouflage when concealed amongst vegetation (4). This species has a large round head, with a white-bordered facial disc, and striking yellow eyes framed with black. The plumage is mostly mottled brown and buff on the upperparts, with black bars on the wings and tail feathers, while the breast is whitish or pale buff, with dense vertical streaking. The underwing is buffish-white, with a black tip, and a distinctive ochre patch just beyond the mid-wing, on the leading edge. The female short-eared owl is slightly larger than the male, with heavier streaking and browner upperparts, while the juvenile is darker still, with a brownish-black facial disc. There are ten recognised subspecies of short-eared owl, which vary in terms of location and colouration. Perhaps the most distinctive of these subspecies is Asio flammeus galapagoensis, which has extremely dark plumage and larger black regions around the eyes (2).


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Belongs to 0 communities

This taxon hasn't been featured in any communities yet.

Learn more about Communities


EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!