|Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
Watercolor and colored pencil
The Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus, is rather unusual in that it is a ground-nesting owl as well as a day-time feeder. It is in the 'true owl' family Strigidae, and in the 'eared-owl' genus Asio. Its species name, flammeus, comes from the appearance of flaming feathers which flow from the top of its body. Its short, ear-like tufts, are not actually ears and are not always visible, though they do aid in the owl's sharp hearing. This species can be seen throughout Britain and North America, and in fact has one of the largest distributions of any bird, existing on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
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