689. SHORT-EARED OWL.
Asio accipitrinus (Pall.), Reis. Russ. Reich, i. p. 455 (1771) ; Newton, i. p. 163 ; Dresser, v. p. 257, pl. 304 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. ii. p. 234 ; (Tacz.), F. O. Sib. O. p. 157 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 271 ; Saunders, p. 295 ; Ridgway, p. 258 ; A. brachyotus, (Forst.) Phil. Trans, lxii. p. 384 (1772) ; (Naum.), i. p. 459, Taf. 45, fig. 2 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 58, pl. xvii. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. pl. 40 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. pl. 32 ; Audub. B. of N. Am. pl. 432 ; Lilford, i. p. 95, pl. 45 ; A. sandwichensis (Bloxh.), in Byron’s Voy. of H.M.S. Blonde, App. p. 250 (1826) ; A. galapagoensis (Gould), P.Z.S. 1837 p. 10 ; A. cassinii (Brew.), Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat, Hist. 1656, p. 321.
Duc, a courtes oreilles, French ; Mocho, Portug. ; Bulto, Lechuza-campestre, Span. ; Gufo di Padule, Ital. ; Sumpf-hreule, German ; Velduil, Dutch ; Kortoret-Ugle, Norweg. ; Sumpugle, Hedeugle, Dan. ; Jorduggla, Swed. ; Jaggi-loadko, Lapp. ; Lyhytsarvinen-pollo, Pumppu-haukka, Finn. ; Koritch-naya-Sova, Russ. ; el-Hama, Moor. ; Baf, Arab.
Male ad. (Scotland). Ear-tufts short ; upper parts buffy ochreous, streaked and. blotched with dark brown ; quills and tail barred with dark brown, the latter tipped with buffy white ; facial disk dull white, with a few scattered blackish markings, the feathers round the eye blackish ; ruff yellowish white, spotted and speckled with blackish brown ; under parts pale ochreous, streaked, except on the lower abdomen, under tail-coverts, and legs, with blackish brown ; legs pale ochreous, closely covered with short feathers ; bill and claws blackish ; iris bright yellow. Culmen 1.4, wing 11.7, tail 5.8, tarsus 2.0 inch. The female is rather larger and, as a rule, darker than the male, and the young bird is darker and more rufous, and the dark markings are larger.
Hab. The whole of Europe, north into the Arctic regions ; Africa south to Natal except in Western Africa : Asia from Kamchatka to South China and Burma, east to Japan ; Singa¬pore, the Sandwich, Caroline, and Ladrones islands ; America south to the straits of Magellan, north to the 67th parallel and Greenland ; the Galapagos islands.
Unlike the Long-eared Owl the present species frequents open moors and damp marshy places, and is not a woodland bird.
It is doubtful if it hunts during the day, except in the Arctic summer, but does not seem to be incommoded by the glare of the sun when flushed. It feeds on mice, small birds, reptiles and coleoptera, &c. ; its call is a shrill clear cry keaw, keaw, uttered on the wing, and its flight is buoyant. It breeds in the northern portions of its range, always nesting on the ground, its nest consisting merely of a little grass collected in a depression in the soil, and in April, or May it deposits 4 to 6, but sometimes 7 or 8 pure white eggs, somewhat elongated, and smooth in texture of shell, which measure about 1.62 by 1.25.
689. Asio accipitrinus
689. SHORT-EARED OWL.