Our most diurnal owl (active during the day). Its body plumage is brown, spotted and streaked with buff, yellow and white. It is pale beneath with a boldly streaked chest. The yellowish facial disc with bright yellow eyes and short ‘ear tufts’ which are rare to see in the field.
Northern parts of the UK and parts of the south east coast. During the winter birds from Scandinavia will migrate to most of southern England.
Open grassy moorland, marshes, sand dunes; in winter frequents grassy marshes and grazing meadows, also adjacent arable fields and moors.
Almost exclusively (88% of their diet) being small mammals, mice, voles and shrews. The remainder is made up from birds and possibly immature rats.
Nests in a scrape on the ground camouflaged by long grass or reeds. Between 5 and 8 eggs usually laid in April, incubation is on average 27 days.
The male’s song is a soft, deep “boo-boo-boo-boo”. Their alarm call is an almost Jackdaw-like, “chef-chef-chef”.