Long eared owl portrait

Long-eared owl

Long eared owls are long-eared only in name. Their upright appendages are merely decorative tufts. They have an expansive range throughout Europe, over much of North America and across Asia. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation and open forest, and are ferocious predators, swooping down on their prey and dispatching it by crushing the skull before swallowing the animal whole. They are mostly a solitary species, but in winter are known to roost communally in groups called ‘owl parliaments’ of up to 200.

Scientific name: Asio otus

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Long-eared owl taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Long-eared owl can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, North America, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Long-eared owl distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Long-eared owl