Long Eared Owls in Maryland

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They are rare birds, Long Eared Owls, and only here for the winter… During breeding season they prefer to be farther north and I imagine they will leave us soon. But here they are, a little bird told me. If too many people go to see them they can be disturbed, or attract the attention of a predator such as the Great Horned Owl, so I hope you will forgive me for not saying exactly where I saw them.

Long Eared Owls are the size of a crow, skinny, with orange patches over their eye discs. This is the fourth owl species I have seen, and the view was by far the most obscured. If it hadn’t been for the scope that some other person brought out there I wouldn’t have been able to say what species this was, or even be certain it was an owl. I would be able to tell you I saw a tall and narrow bird holding very still in the depths of a tree.

But through the scope I could see the perfect circles of orange feathers, and very long ear tufts, and it was so exciting. I tried to take a photo, but like Big Foot or Nessie the owls would not be captured in a proof-worthy image. You will have to take my word for it.

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