Two Unique Owl Species Call Wisconsin Home
by Masha Vodyanik, age 13
The barn owl and the long-eared owl are two very similar birds. Both are native to Wisconsin. These owls hunt small rodents and birds at night and rest during the day. Individuals of both are about the same size – 13 to 16 inches tall.
Despite their similarities, these owls also have differences. The barn owl, Tyto alba, is long-legged and pale-colored with a white face. There are over 30 subspecies of this bird; they live in many different ecosystems around the world. Their name reflects their strange habit of sleeping in buildings, caves, or barns.
On the other hand, the long-eared owl, Asio otus, has very unique ear tufts. These are made out of feathers and do not affect their hearing at all. They live in the rainforests and parks of North America, Europe, and Asia, but they are not present in South America or Africa. Along with eating small rodents and birds, like the barn owl, long-eared owls also prey on bats, moles, and small mammals. They also roost during the day.
Given these descriptions, you, too could now tell the two birds apart.
[Source: The Complete Guide to Animals]