New York Natural Heritage Program
Short-eared Owl
Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763)
Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) A.J. Hand
Family: Typical Owls (Strigidae)

State Protection: Endangered
A native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York (includes any species listed as federally Endangered by the United States). It is illegal to take, import, transport, possess, or sell an animal listed as Endangered, or its parts, without a permit from NYSDEC. 1) Any native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York. 2) Any species listed as endangered by the United States Department of the Interior.

Federal Protection: Migratory Bird Treaty Act
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act implements various treaties and conventions between the U. S. and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the former Soviet Union for the protection of migratory birds. Under this Act, taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds, including nests or eggs, is unlawful unless specifically permitted by other regulations.

State Rarity Rank: S2
A State Rarity Rank of S2 means: Typically 6 to 20 occurrences, few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or factors demonstrably make it very vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Did you know?
The short-eared owl is unique within its family (Strigidae) in the way it builds a ground nest. The female makes a small scrape in the ground with her body and lines it with nearby material (NatureServe 2003).

State Ranking Justification [-]
The Short-eared Owl population is declining in New York, as it is throughout much its range. The second Breeding Bird Atlas reported probable or confirmed breeding in 13 blocks (McGowan and Corwin 2008). In comparison, the first Breeding Bird Atlas (1980-1985) reported probable or confirmed breeding in 14 blocks (Andrle and Carroll 1988). The number of reported possible breeding blocks declined from 22 during the first Atlas to 11 during the second Atlas. It appears that Long Island has lost nearly all breeding locations for Short-eared Owls with one block reported during the second Atlas compared to nine during the first Atlas. Breeding may no longer occur in the lower Hudson Valley as well as a number of other historically known breeding sites in the state. Wintering Short-eared Owl populations are variable, depending on rodent populations and snow cover.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]