Short-eared owl, Worlaby Carrs, Lincolnshire, England
© Ben Hall/Minden Picture
Info. Short-eared owl
This short-eared owl is silently swooping over the open English countryside as it searches for its next meal. Named for the tiny and inconspicuous tufts on top of its head, the golden-eyed bird is often affectionately called ‘shortie’. Here in England, short-eared owls are seen more frequently in winter, when their numbers are boosted by an influx of continental birds migrating from Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland. Unlike most owls, the short-eared owl prefers to hunt during the daytime, flying low over moorland, grassland and saltmarshes where it feeds on rodents, especially voles.