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The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a member of the owl family Strigidae which is in the genius Asio. It occurs on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Worldwide, there are 216 species of owl.
In Ireland, it is mainly a scarce winter visitor to northern, eastern and southern coastal locations. Historically, the absence of voles from the Irish landscape has prevented it from becoming a breeding resident. Elsewhere in Europe, breeding success is heavily dependent upon an abundance of voles which is an important prey item fed to young owlets. Probably as a result of accidental introduction, Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus) has now become established in southwestern Ireland and subsequently this species of owl has bred on a number of occasions in that region.
More recently, a small breeding population of Short-eared Owl has become established in northeastern Ireland.
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
Saturday 31 August 2013
Labels: Asio flammeus, Birds of Dublin, Birds of Europe, Birds of Fingal, birds of prey, Co. Dublin, Donabate, Fingal, Ireland, Irish Birds, Owls, Owls of Europe, Short-eared Owl, Turvey Nature Reserve