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Wicklow Mountains National Park
Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl, Ceann Cait, Asio otus

Irelands’ most common owl, the Long-eared Owl has taken very well to coniferous forests and is more prevalent in the east of the country. During the day, these owls roost against a tree trunk or in dense branches, they raise their ear tufts to break up their outline, which makes them more difficult to see. In fact, their protruding ear tufts are not ears at all, but tufts of feathers on top of the bird’s head.

These owls are strictly nocturnal and are hard to see. The best time to sight them is from early January to early April when they have a long-drawn out ‘oo-oo-oo’ call.

Long-eared Owls favourite foods in the Park are Wood Mice and Brown Rats. They nest in the old nests of other birds such as crows.