Long-eared Owls are everywhere.

Photo: Piotr Krzeslak/Shutterstock
Long-eared owls don’t actually have long ears.
They’re named after tall, feathery tufts on their heads that look like ears. Their real ones are hidden under facial feathers, and for many North American long-eared owls, those ears must have been burning lately.
Normally secretive birds, long-eared owls have become a sensation this winter around Chicago, where they’ve dazzled people by suddenly appearing in unusually large numbers.
This is known as an irruption, the technical name for any abrupt surge in a bird population, especially outside its typical haunts.
It’s unclear where exactly all these long-eared owls came from, but the species is known to breed across a northern swath of the United States from Maine to California, plus much of Canada.
Long-eared owls are native to Eurasia and North Africa as well as North America. They live year-round in many regions, but some also escape the northernmost parts of their breeding range during winter, moving south into (slightly) warmer habitats.
Source: Owl of a sudden, long-eared owls are everywhere | MNN – Mother Nature Network

“The Tasmanian Masked Owl”.

Author and Photo by Sandra – Tasmania.
Our beautiful Tasmanian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae castenops) was once described by John Gould (biologist) as ‘…a species distinguished from all other members of its genus by its great size and powerful form.
Probably, few of the Raptorial birds, with the exception of the Eagles, are more formidable or more sanguinary (causing much bloodshed) in disposition.’
After this beauty flew up to the tree tops, I packed up and walked back down to the house to close windows, feed the dog and cat, stoke the woodheater…and go collect more wood in a barrow. It was dark. I had a torch.
Whilst at the  woodpile I heard our chooks cry out. I had not yet closed their door for the night. Rushing in…there she was…looking perplexed…on the floor of the chook house…what’s all the noise about…I’m just after my chicken dinner!
I walked in between the terrified chickens and the owl…shining my torch on the ground so she could still see.
Slowly we turned around and together we left the chook house…both walking in a nonchalant manner.
She then flew up to the fence. I stood next to her…about a rulers length away. We had a quiet moment. I told her it’s not OK to eat the chooks. She let me pat her briefly.
We parted company. I had tears of wonderment.
Source: ABC OPEN: The fragility of life. || From Project: Pic of the Week

“The Hunter.”

Great grey owls perch on relatively low tree branches, making them a photographer’s dream.
This particular owl and another juvenile in the area were quite dedicated hunters and would search for mice and voles in the dry grass and meadows, swooping long and low before gliding back up to a suitable perch.
It was seemingly unfazed by human presence and would stare right into the camera often both during flight and while scanning for prey from the pine branches.
Image Credit: Photograph by Jennifer Rogers. All Rights Reserved.
Kihei, Hawaii, United States of America. Member since 2016.
Source: The Hunter | Smithsonian Photo Contest | Smithsonian

“Barking Owl in flight”.

A barking owl in flight, photographed near Cairns.
The barking owl (Ninox connivens), also known as the winking owl, is a nocturnal bird species native to mainland Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea and the Moluccas.
They are a medium-sized brown owl and have a characteristic voice that can range from a barking dog noise to a shrill woman-like scream of great intensity.
ABC Open contributor wildman_photo
Source: Barking owl Pic of the Week – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

“Zeus, the Blind Owl”.

One morning, someone in Southern California found an injured owl on their porch. It turned out to be a blind Western Screech Owl with eyes that look like a starry night.
After a visit to the vet, the owl found a new permanent home at the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar, California.
He was named “Zeus” after the Greek god of sky and thunder because of his stunning eyes.
Zeus was injured when he was found on that front porch in South California, but the dedicated team of animal lovers at the center helped him on his feet again.
Since he was blind, they couldn’t simply release him back into the wild, so he now lives in a trunk on the filing cabinet next to the Wildlife Learning Center founder Paul Hahn’s desk.
Read more via Meet Zeus: The Rescued Blind Owl With Stars In His Eyes | Bored Panda.

“Mykh and Daria.”


Photograph by Ilya Naymushin, REUTERS
Zoo employee Daria Cherepanova walks with Mykh, an 8-month-old great gray owl, during a training session.
The training sessions are part of Royev Ruchey Zoo’s programme of taming wild animals for research, and for the enlightenment and interaction with visitors, in the Siberian Taiga Forest in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
Source: Editor’s choice | Reuters.com