Short-eared Owl - Asio flammeus


Short-eared Owls are medium sized owls with mottled brown bodies, pale under-wings and yellow eyes.

Identification difficulty

In the UK they breed primarily in northern England and Scotland, but are seen more widely in winter. Short-eared owls are best looked for in winter on coastal marshes and wetlands. However, birdwatchers must be careful to avoid disturbance at communal roost sites.

When to see it

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.

Life History

Feed on small mammals, especially voles.

UK Status

Widespread but occasional in the UK. They are of European conservation concern and so are an Amber List species.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire ad Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map