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Short-eared Owl

Scientific Name: Asio flammeus

Species Ambassador:


A veterinary clinic in Jenison brought Xena to Blandford Nature Center in 1998.  She had been hit by a car, and fractured her right wing so badly that it had to be amputated. With only one wing, she would not be able hunt or escape predators in the wild.

Status of Short-eared Owls in Michigan

The Short-eared Owl is currently a state endangered species that is legally protected in Michigan.  Their endangered status is due to loss of habitat caused by human development and clearing of wetlands.


They make a soft toot-toot-toot noise during the breeding season, and can squeal and bark like a dog when agitated. 

Click Below to Hear a Short-eared Owl!


This species prefers open areas with lowland vegetation such as prairies, marshes, meadows and bogs.


The Short-eared Owl hunts both in the day and at night, quietly flying low to the ground as they look for any movement of prey items. Their diet consists of voles, mice, birds and other small mammals.

The Role of Short-eared Owls in Our Ecosystems

Short-eared Owls help manage small rodent populations. 

Threats to Short-eared Owls

-These owls are among the rarest of owl species found in Michigan due to habitat loss.

How We Can Help Short-eared Owls

-Help with the conservation and of wetlands.

-Help with the monitoring of Short-eared Owl populations by reporting any sightings to Michigan Natural Features Inventory at 517-373-1552.

Interesting Fact

-The Short-eared Owl is one of only 2 North American owl species that nests on the ground.

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