The Long-eared Owl Asio otus is a species of owl which breeds in Europe, Asia, and North America. This bird is partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its range. Its habitat is forest close to open country.
This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.
It nests in trees, often conifers, using the old nests of other birds such as crows, laying 4-5 eggs. It will readily use artificial nesting baskets.
It hunts over open country by night. Its food is mainly rodents and birds.
The Long-eared Owl has orange eyes; its long ear-tufts are not usually visible in flight, but are otherwise fairly obvious. It is brownish above and pale below. It is very long winged, like the similar Short-eared Owl, and glides slowly on stiff wings when hunting. This nocturnal species is perhaps most easily seen perched in a tree in its daytime roost.
See also bird of prey.