Short-eared owls are medium sized owls with mottled brown bodies, pale under-wings and yellow eyes. They are commonly seen hunting during the day. In winter, there is an influx of continental birds (from Scandinavia, Russia, Iceland) to northern, eastern, and parts of central southern England, especially around the coast. They are of European conservation concern and so are an Amber List species.
Short-eared Owls are passage migrants and winter visitors in Gloucestershire. By the 1970’s, the Severn Vale was the main source of records, and this is still true today. There are also a few areas on the Cotswolds where Short-eared Owls occur reliably in most winters. One such site is the Hawling-Brockhampton area east of Cheltenham. Most records are from winter months, but birds can arrive early and linger well in to spring.
Size, habitat and diet
Weight: M/F 330g
World distribution: North and central Europe, N Asia, N & S America
Habitat: Tundra, marsh, moor, grassland
Diet: Small mammals, esp. voles, also some birds. Will hunt by day or night
Introduction to the Short-eared Owl (Wild Owl TV)