Long-eared Owl in SAP – December 24, 2008

We had a Long-eared Owl sitting on one of the balconies of our building a few days ago.

We came back from a walk and saw it flying from the trees toward the windows. It flew to a few different windows, and then settled down on a balcony railing.

I had never seen a Long-eared Owl before. They are smaller than Great Horned Owls, and their “ear” tufts stick up straighter. Their breast feathers have a crosshatched pattern – Great Horned Owls have a barred pattern.

Usually Long-eared Owls are slimmer than Great Horned Owls, but this one must have been trying to keep warm (it was about 5 degrees below zero) because it kept its feathers fluffed out and looked quite plump.

It sat on the railing in the sun for several hours and lots of people in the building got a chance to see it. It flew away sometime in the late afternoon, and we haven’t seen it since.