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Long-eared Owl

Scientific Name: Asio otus

Species Ambassador:


Burt was hit by a car in Grant, MI and brought in to Blandford Nature Center in 2008. The accident caused permanent damage to his left wing.  He can hardly fly and would not be able to survive on his own.

Status of Long-eared Owls in Michigan

Long-eared Owls are a state threatened species. Any sightings should be reported to the Michigan Natural Features Inventory at 517-373-1552.


Their call is a long “Hoo” repeated every 2-3 seconds.  They can also make a barking sound if threatened.

Click Below to Hear Long-eared Owls!


Long-eared Owls prefer conifer forests, but will also nest in deciduous trees.  They also require open grassy areas nearby with lots of prey items for hunting.  Long-eared owls use abandoned nests or dense vegetation as nest sites.


These owls eat mainly voles, deer mice and other small nocturnal mammals.  Long-eared Owls also eat small birds, reptiles and amphibians.  They tend to catch their prey in their talons while in flight.

The Role of Long-eared Owls in Our Ecosystems

Long-eared Owls help keep small rodent populations in check.

Threats to Long-eared Owls

-Loss of hunting habitats such as old fields and open lands to urbanization.   

-Destruction of forest patches.  

How We Can Help Long-eared Owls

-Help with the planting of pine plantations near open, grassy foraging areas.

-Help monitor Long-eared Owl populations by reporting any sightings to the Michigan Natural      Features Inventory at 517-373-1552.

Interesting Fact

-During the winter these owls roost together in groups of 10-20 in wooded areas.

-Long-eared Owls do not actually have long ears on top of their heads; those are just tufts of       feathers.  Their actual ears are located under the feathers for protection.

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