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Simpson Street Free Press

The Short-eared Owl Is a Year-long Resident of Wisconsin

The Short-eared Owl is an owl species that is native to Wisconsin, Canada, and other northern parts of the U.S. Fortunately for those looking to spot them, the Short-eared Owl lives all year round in those areas. This owl can travel long distances. People have reported sightings that are hundreds of miles away from land.

A Pueo is a subspecies of a Short-eared Owl only native to Hawaii and resides on several Hawaiian islands. It is believed that the Pueo might have descended from Native Alaskan ancestors.

A Short-eared Owl has very short ears, which are difficult to see. Despite this, they have really good hearing. Their sharp hearing can be useful when hunting animals, especially smaller ones. A very visible physical attribute of the Short-eared Owl is its black-rimmed yellow eyes. This owl also has a pale face and rounded wings.

The Short-eared Owl has an interesting way of protecting its future offspring from predators. They defecate on their eggs in the hopes that the strong smell will discourage animals from trying to eat them.

A Short-eared Owl’s diet consists of rodents such as pocket mice, deer mice, and others. It can also eat bats, rabbits, and muskrats.

The oldest known Short-eared Owl was a little over four years old before it was shot in California in 1970.

Those who live in the northern parts of the U.S., specifically Wisconsin, might want to keep their eyes open because they might catch a glimpse of the Short-eared Owl.

[Source: Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership ; Audubon]

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