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(Asio flammeus), a bird of the family Strigidae. Length, 35–42 Cm. The plumage on the dorsal side is brown with whitish or reddish spots on the feathers; on the ventral side it is white or yellowish with extended brown streaks.
The short-eared owl is very widely distributed in Europe, Asia (except the extreme south), North and South America, and on the Caroline Islands and Hawaiian Islands. It is everywhere in the USSR, from the tundra to Middle Asia and from the western border to Primor’e and Sakhalin. In the north the owl is migratory and in the south it is a permanent resident. It lives in open areas, avoiding the forests. It nests on the ground in April in the south and in May in the north. There are three to five eggs in a clutch (in years of massive reproduction of rodents, nine or ten). The female broods 27 days. The owl feeds on mouselike rodents and is thus useful in agriculture.