ID chal­lenge

NOVEM­BER: OWLS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents -

How well do you know owls? Well, take our iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ‘test’ and find out

Owls are mys­te­ri­ous. They are the sort of birds you don’t tend to see ev­ery day. In­deed, for many of us, they are birds we don’t see at all dur­ing the year. Of course, the fact that all our owl species are es­sen­tially noc­tur­nal adds to their mys­tique and the fact that they are rel­a­tively rarely seen birds. That said, of the five reg­u­lar Bri­tish species, three can of­ten been seen in full day­light at the right time of year and place: Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl and Lit­tle Owl. Long-eared and Tawny are more tied to dark­ness and are most of­ten seen roost­ing by day or in brief head­light glimpses at night. ID is rel­a­tively straight­for­ward, ex­cept be­tween the sim­i­lar Long-eared and Short-eared Owls, which re­quire a lit­tle close at­ten­tion. Good luck iden­ti­fy­ing the fol­low­ing six species, then turn the page for an­swers and fur­ther tips.

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