To content sitemap

Short-eared owl


The short-eared owl breeds all over the globe, except Australia and the Antarctica. They can be found throughout Finland. According to their Finnish name (direct translation) – swamp owl – the short-eared owl prefers swamps, meadows, and wide grasslands as their habitat, preying mainly on rodents. The short-eared owl nests in a shallow hole in the ground, hidden by twigs or tufts of sedge. During nesting season the night-active short-eared owl is also active during the day.


Like our other owls, the short-eared owl is a protected species by law.


Short-eared owls migrate to Central and South Europe for winter grounds.

Short-eared owl

Asio flammeus

Class: Aves – Birds

Order: Strigiformes – Owls

Family: Strigidae – Owls

Size: Weight: 250-400g, wingspan: 95-110cm, females larger than males.

Breeding: The female lays 4-6 eggs in May-June, incubation period: 24-29 days and nights.

Lifespan: According to ringing data, the oldest short-eared owl has lived to 14 years of age.

Did you know…

Did you know, that the short-eared owl is a master at masking? Due to its colouring they hide well in swamp areas. They can also change their body position in order to better adapt to their surroundings; in a minute they can transform from a rounded feathery-faced ball into a long and thin creature, like a trunk of a tree.