Seeing a Short-eared owl is a memorable sight. Sadly, breeding numbers are thought to have declined considerably in recent years – perhaps more so than many other predatory birds. We were keen to learn more.
- Developed field methods for surveying and monitoring
- Studied the movement patterns and habitat use of breeding birds using radio-tracking and visual observations
- Analysed 96 years’ worth of data on ringed birds from across Europe to investigate changing migration patterns
Our analysis of ringing recoveries from across Europe suggests that the distances moved between breeding and wintering areas generally increased from the early 20th century through to the 1970s, then subsequently declined. These changes may reflect changes in breeding population densities, at least in some areas2 (their populations grew during the 20th century but have declined since the 1970s).
- Calladine, J., Garner, G., Wernham, C. & Buxton, N. 2010. Variation in the diurnal activity of breeding Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus: implications for their survey and monitoring. Bird Study, 57, 89-99.
- Calladine, J., du Feu, C. & du Feu, R. 2012. Changing migration patterns of the Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus in Europe: an analysis of ringing recoveries. Journal of Ornithology 153, 691-698.
- Calladine, J. & Morrison, N. 2013. Diurnal and nocturnal ranging behavioour by moorland breeding Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus in Scotland. Bird Study, 60, 44-51.
- Glue, D.E. 1977. Feeding ecology of the Short-eared Owl in Britain and Ireland. Bird Study, 24, 70-78.
- Glue, D.E. 2002. Short-eared Owl. In Wernham, C.V., Toms, M.P., Marchant, J.H., Clark, J.A., Siriwardena, G.M. & Baillie, S.R. (eds) The Migration Atlas: movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland. T. & A.D. Poyser, London. Pp 437-440.
- Goddard, T.R. 1935. A census of short-eared owls (Asio f. flammeus) at Newcastleton, Roxburghshire, 1934. Journal of Animal Ecology, 4, 113-118
- Greenwood, J.J.D., Crick, H.Q.P. & Bainbridge, I.P. 2003. Numbers and international importance of raptors and owls in Britain and Ireland. In: D.B.A.Thompson et al, eds. Birds of Prey in a Changing Environment. Edinburgh, The Stationary Office. pp. 25-49.
- Locckie, J.D. 1955. The breeding habits and food of short-eared owls after a vole plague. Bird Study, 2, 53-69.
- Musgrove,A., Aebischer, N., Eaton, M., Hearn, R., Newson, S., Noble, D. Parsons, M., Risely, K. & Stroud, D. 2013. Population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom. British Birds, 106, 64-100.
- Petty, S.J., Lambin, X., Sherratt, T.N., Thomas, C.J., Mackinnon, J.L., Coles, C.F., Davison, M. & Little, B. 2000. Spatial synchrony in field vole Microtus agrestis abundance in a coniferous forest in northern England: the role of vole-eating raptors. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 136-147.
- Roberts , J.L. & Bowman, N. 1986. Diet and ecology of Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus breeding on heather moor. Bird Study, 33, 12-17.
- Shaw, G. 1995. Habitat selection by Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus in young coniferous forests. Bird Study, 42, 158-164.
- Village, A. 1987. Numbers, territory size and turnover of Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus in relation to vole abundance. Ornis Scandinavica, 18, 198-204.