Tufts appear to sit on the middle of the head above the eyes. Eyes yellow, bill black, and throat dark. Facial disk circular and rusty/brown; color intensity varies. Chest and belly are mixed with horizontal and vertical markings. Ventrally, mottled brown. Dorsally, the back is mottled with mixtures of brown. SIZE: 13 to 16 inches. WEIGHT: eight to 10 ounces. VOICE: A soft, "Hoo, hoo, hoo," varying in number and given at two to three-second intervals.
For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.
Great Horned Owl is much larger, tufts set wider on the head, and the throat is white.
Western Hemisphere Range
Migratory in northern latitudes, although some owls may stay throughout the winter.
Long-eared Owls are most often observed in hedgerows, woody draws, and juniper thickets, although they do occur within the forest edge. They are predominantly open-country hunters; however, they are seldom seen because of their nocturnal habits.
Depends heavily on small rodents.
Begins nesting in March or April; nests in a stick nest built by other raptors, magpies, crows, or ravens. Clutch size three to six. Incubation about 26 days. Young fledge at 30 to 40 days. Nests from late April into June. Young just out of nest as late as July.