Long-eared Owl

1/500s at f7.1 ISO 2000 EOS-1D Mark IV, EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM

This long-eared owl shows a partiality for semi-open habitats, particularly woodland edge, as they prefer to roost and nest within dense stands of wood but prefer to hunt over open ground. The long-eared owl is a somewhat specialized predator, focusing its diet almost entirely on small rodents, especially voles, which quite often comprise most of their diet. Under some circumstances, such as population cycles of their regular prey, arid or insular regional habitats or urbanization, this species can adapt fairly well to a diversity including birds and insects. All owls do not build their own nests. In the case of the long-eared owl, the owls generally utilize nests that are built by other animals, with a partiality in many regions for those built by corvids. Breeding success in this species is largely correlated with prey populations and predation risks. Unlike many owls, long-eared owls are not strongly territorial nor sedentary. They are partially migratory and, although owls appear to generally use the same migratory routes and wintering sites annually, can tend to appear so erratically that they are sometimes characterized as nomadic. Another fairly unique characteristic of this species is its partially for regular roosts that are often shared by a number of long-eared owls at once. The long-eared owl is one of the most widely distributed and most numerous owl species in the world, and due to its very broad range and numbers it is considered a least concern species by the IUCN. Nonetheless, strong declines have been detected for this owl in several parts of its range.
Along the Salt River, AZ