Three long-eared owls in a tree

Eared owls

Eared owls are known for the ear-like tufts sticking up from their head. These tufts are simply feathers and have no connection with hearing. Eared owls are very widespread, although there are only half a dozen species in the genus. Most of them are ground nesters, though the long-eared owl nests in trees. On rare occasions, short-eared owl will do this too.

Scientific name: Asio

Rank: Genus


Map showing the distribution of the Eared owls taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.