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Birding Málaga


Common name Short-eared owl
Scientific name Asio flammeus
Type Shrubland birds
Status Migrator

Nocturnal raptor bird with a medium size (approx 40 cm or 15.5 in) and wingspan (approx 105 cm or 41.5 in). Brown ocher plumage in general, darker on the back than in the underparts, with numerous spots and bars that make it very cryptic. Rounded and small head, with very small head plumes ("ears"). Big and very yellow eye, with black mask. Long wings with black spots.



Where it lives

Species linked to wet areas. Humid countryside and meadows, open and without trees. Stubble fields, wastelands, farmlands and wetlands.

How it lives

Wintering species in the province, where it can also be watched in migratory passage. The Short-Eared Owl is nomadic, so it moves a lot depending on the availability of food. Daytime habits unlike the rest of nocturnal raptors. It breeds from January. Nest on the ground, in grasslands or bulrush. One laying of 4 to 8 eggs. This raptor catches micromammals that it usually stalks flying at low or average height (it does not usually use elevated perches like other owls), and also consumes insects and small birds.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Common species in the mouth of the Guadalhorce, as well as in wastelands and wet meadows near the coast between Marbella and Estepona.

Curious facts

The best populations of short-eared owls coincide in date and geographic location with the abundant presence of voles. This bird is one of the best weapons to control these pests in a natural way.

Similar birds
Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration