Flapping with deep, slow wing-motion, a Short-eared Owl appears almost to float above the ground. This owl has an extensive world range, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Still, it's declining, due to development, agriculture, and overgrazing. American Bird Conservancy and Partners in Flight consider this bird at-risk. But the federal Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs are showing promise for Short-eared Owls, by preserving large blocks of habitat. Let your elected representatives know that you support these programs!
Short-eared Owls Hunt by Day
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Short-eared Owl barking]
On a cold, crisp January morning, a beautiful golden-brown bird of prey sits atop a fence post. Suddenly, the bird takes flight on long, rounded wings. Flapping with deep, slow wing-beats, it appears almost to float above the ground, like an enormous moth. It’s a Short-eared Owl, an owl especially adapted to hunt during the day.
[Short-eared Owl barks]
Short-eared Owls are found on grasslands and tundra and along coastlines. They have an extensive world range, including North and South America, as well as Europe and Asia. [Short-eared Owl barking] Yet despite the widespread range, this unconventional owl is declining. In North America, grassland habitats are dwindling due to development, agriculture, and overgrazing. American Bird Conservancy and Partners in Flight consider the Short-eared Owl at risk.
So, what to do?
Well, restoring habitat offers hope. Programs such as the federal Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs are showing promise for Short-eared Owls.
[Short-eared Owl barks]
BirdNote celebrates the work of our conservation partners and the everyday actions of our listeners to reverse the alarming decline in North American birds. Together, we can bring them back. Learn more and get involved at birdnote.org.
I’m Michael Stein.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Call of the Short-eared Owl provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Barking  recorded by G. Vyn and barks by  by D.S. Herr. Ambient recorded by C. Peterson.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote January 2017/2020 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# SotB-SEOW-01-2012-01-30 SotB-SEOW-01b