Northern Long-eared Owl - Asio otus


Otus in latin and ôtos in Greek refer to a night bird with ears, hence its English name "Long-eared". We should point out that in French there are two words for owl ‘la chouette’ and ‘le hibou’, the difference being in the tufts of feathers on its head which can be confused with ears. They are particularly noticeable on the Northern Long-eared Owl, but can lie completely flat when it is resting or in flight. Although solitary birds, Northern Long-eared Owls gather together at a place to rest outside the breeding season, especially in the winter, which can shelter several dozen individuals, so forming genuine roosting sites. In wintertime, the Northern Long-eared Owl takes a shower which is like a real ballet: it seems to be “dancing in the rain” as it exposes itself to the drops of water.

First chick hatched at Le Rocher des Aigles: 2008


CLASS : Aves
ORDER : Strigiformes
FAMILY : Strigidae
WEIGHT : Male 220-305 g / Female 260-435 g
CLUTCH SIZE : 5-7 eggs
INCUBATION : 26 -28 days.
LIFE EXPECTANCY : 20 years (Record is 27 years in the wild)
DIET : small mammals (mainly voles), small birds and sometimes amphibians.
NATURAL HABITAT : it prefers open areas (fields, prairies) for hunting and open forests, especally conifers, small woods for nesting.
RANGE : the whole of Europe, North America and Asia

Conservation status

Conservation status info

Rocher des Aigles

LC : Least Concern
The Northern Long-eared Owl population is falling, but remains relatively stable. The population’s decline is centred around areas of intensive farming. Other threats persist, such as starvation, predation, loss of habitat and collisions with vehicles.