A slender, cryptically plumaged owl with long ear tufts. Adult male is patterned gray, brown, and orange overall, with streaked and barred underparts, grayish wings with buffy-barred flight feathers, orange face, and dark vertical streaks through yellow eyes. Female is slightly darker and more heavily marked. Smaller than Great Horned Owl, without horizontal barring underneath. In flight, note buffy wing patch, like Short-eared Owl but darker with thicker bars.
Length: 38 (cm) Wingspan: 92 (cm)
Slow series of deep, single hoots, also barks and squeaks.
Edges of wooded areas, open fields, swales, dense riparian stands.
Nocturnal. Roosts by day in dense stands of trees or shrubs. In camouflage posture, body is elongated vertically and ear tufts are pointed to resemble a broken branch. Nest is an old bird or squirrel nest, sometimes a partial tree cavity. Communal winter roosts may reach dozens of birds.
Hunts nocturnally from perch or on the wing; eats mice, voles, and other small animals.
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