Because of their large range, which covers every continent except for Antarctica and Australia, short-eared owls are not endangered as a species. However, their population has decreased in six states in the northeastern part of the United States, and the owls are considered endangered in these states. Scientists believe that the reason for their population decline has to do with habitat loss and pesticides.Know More
The short-eared owl is dependent on open spaces such as meadows, prairies and tundra to hunt. However, many of these areas are being repurposed for agriculture, used to expand and develop cities and towns, or changed by natural succession and turned into forested areas. In addition, rat poison, pesticides and other harmful chemicals travel up the food chain and accumulate in the bodies of short-eared owls, putting them at risk for disease.
Many conservation efforts have been made to help the short-eared owl. Many of these involve prescribed burning of grasslands or periodic mowing of these areas to keep secondary succession from occurring. However, ecologists sometimes find it difficult to maintain all of the habitats that short-eared owls use because they are migratory, which makes it necessary to maintain not only current living sites but also many present and potential migration sites.Learn more about Owls
Owl weight varies among species but most adult owls weigh between 1.5 ounces and 9 pounds. Elf owls, the smallest owls in the world, reach a very short height and weigh much less than the largest owl breed, the Eurasian eagle owl. In the United States, common Barn owls range in weight from just 8 ounces to over 3 pounds, while larger snowy owls maintain adult weights of 3.5 to 6.5 pounds.Full Answer >
Barn owls live on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica, mainly residing in open habitats such as grasslands, marshes and deserts. Barn owls require cavities like the lofts in barns, church steeples, tree hollows, hay stacks and nest boxes in order to build their nests.Full Answer >
There are more than 200 species of owls and depending on the species, an owl's life expectancy can range from 1 year for a short-lived species, such as the barn owl, to as long as 10 years in the case of a screech owl. Life expectancy has many contributing factors like habitat and can vary depending on whether it is in captivity or in the wild. Owls in captivity generally live twice as long as in a wild habitat.Full Answer >
Like many other birds, owls achieve flight by flapping their wings. Owls, however, have a special adaptation that allows them to fly nearly silently and take prey by surprise on dark nights.Full Answer >