Short Eared Owl

Short Eared Owl are one of natures great little predators that you can see in Anglesey.

So called due to the little tufts of feathers that resemble little ears. These medium sized owls are unusual in that they are not nocturnal and prefer to hunt during the day. Instead of using a traditional tree nest the Short Eared Owl will nest in small ground hollows. The nesting hollows are surrounded with feathers and grass.

The UK has around between 1000 and 2000 breeding pairs which are usually in the north and across Scotland. During winter Short Eared owls will often fly across from Scandinavia, Iceland and Russia to hunt. They will also move further south than where they normally nest in the northern uplands of the UK. With their numbers bolstered this the best time to see them in Anglesey.

Habitat plays a key part in where you will find these fantastic animals. Their preference is for low lying coastal marshes and wetlands. Anglesey has a few of these areas that a perfect hunting grounds for the Short Eared Owls.

One if not the best place to see these great creatures is the area around Aberffraw during winter. It’s the perfect area for them to hunt small animals such as there favoured prey, Voles.

Typically Short Eared Owl are between a length of 34-42cm with a wingspan of 90-105cm. The average weight of the stunning birds is between 260-350g. Tracked ringed birds have been know to fly down to Africa. One Owl clocked an average speed of 50mph across the English channel as it migrated.

Don’t forget the best time to see these birds in Anglesey is the end of December through to February. Aberffraw is located following post code LL63 5AJ on the south west coast of Anglesey. There is plenty of free parking moreover the A4080 has plenty too.

Bear in mind it can be cold and blustery at this time of year so dress appropriately. Long range camera lenses and binoculars are best so as not to disturbe the Owls.

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