By Francesco Veronesi from Italy (Long-eared Owl - Kisjuszallas - Hungary_S4E0920) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Francesco Veronesi from Italy (Long-eared Owl - Kisjuszallas - Hungary_S4E0920) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

Range
Non-resident in Virginia, but occasionally winters here. Their range includes the broad temperate belt across North America. Winters south to Mexico, Gulf states, Florida and Bermuda.

Size
Length          13-16 inches
Wingspan     35-39 inches
Weight          7-15 ounces

Habitat
Deep forest cover, mixed hardwoods and evergreens or conifers.

Diet
Small mammals, chiefly voles, mice and shrews.

Characteristics
Uncommon owl; there are large gaps in our knowledge of the species. Nests in old nests of herons, hawks or crows; also squirrel nests and cavities in trees. Not very vocal; most often heard in a single or double hoot.