Long-Eared Owl

Asio otus
Strigidae (typical owls) in the order Strigiformes (owls)

A slim owl, crow-sized, yellow-eyed, long-winged, without a white throat. Upperparts are gray-brown, underparts are heavily streaked and barred with dark brown. Facial disks are rusty, and the ear tufts are long and closely spaced. In flight, they have a buff patch in the upperside of the wing and a dark crescent at the bend of the wing's underside. Voice is a long "hooo," which may be repeated, or doglike barks and hoots, whines and squealing sounds--although they are usually silent on the wintering ground in Missouri.

Length: 15 inches (tip of bill to tip of tail); wingspan: 3 to 3 1/2 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
Strictly nocturnal. Highly secretive by day. Buoyant, mothlike flight. Usually several together, especially at roosts. Roosts in dense groves by day, especially pines.
Hunts for mice, rats, shrews, voles and small rabbits over open country at night.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Rare winter resident. Casual summer resident. A Species of Conservation Concern in Missouri.
Life cycle: 
Nesting in Missouri is extremely unlikely, and there have been few reports within the past 20 years. Nesting commences in March and April. Four to six eggs are laid in an old crow, hawk or squirrel nest, usually in pines. Incubation: 28 days. Rearing: 34 days.
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