Owl Of A Sudden, Long-Eared Owls Are Everywhere

Owl Of A Sudden
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 U.S. from Maine to California, plus much of Canada.

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