New York Natural Heritage Program
Short-eared Owl
Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763)

New York State Distribution [-]
New York is the southern edge of the Short-eared Owl breeding range with the exception of some scattered breeding records as far south as Virginia (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2003). The breeding range in the state is generally limited to the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain valleys, the Great Lakes Plains, and marshes along the south shore of Long Island. Between the fall and spring, the number of Short-eared Owl observations increases as northern populations migrate south, possibly in search of food. Significant numbers of wintering owls are in the Finger Lakes and the Lake Ontario plains, especially in Jefferson County, at scattered locations in the Hudson Valley, and the south shore of Long Island.

Global Distribution [-]
Breeding: In North America, Short-eared Owls are found from northern Alaska to northern Labrador, south to California, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and Virginia. They are more numerous in western and central North America than in eastern North America. Breeding has been recorded in small numbers in every province and territory in Canada (NatureServe 2003). Currently, in the northeastern United States, nesting is known in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (Tate 1992). Breeding has also been documented in the Hawaiian Islands, Caroline Islands (Ponape), and Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico) (AOU 1983). In Eurasia, Short-eared Owls are found from Iceland, British Isles, Scandinavia, northern Russia, and northern Siberia south to southern Europe, Afghanistan, northern Mongolia, the northern Kurile Islands, and Kamchatka. Non-breeding: Outside of the breeding season, Short-eared Owls are more common from the southern parts of most of the Canadian provinces south to southern Baja California, southern Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and Florida. Short-eared Owls reside on all the main islands of Hawaii and can be found in the Greater Antilles, but are uncommon in Puerto Rico, including Isla Culebra. In the Old World, non-breeding birds are found from areas within the breeding range south to northwestern Africa, the Mediterranean region, Ceylon, southern China, and Japan (AOU 1983).
Best Places to See
• Fort Edward Grasslands (Winter) (Washington County)
• Gilgo Beach Marshes (Sping/Summer) (Suffolk County)
• Jones Beach/Tobay (Spring/Summer) (Nassau County)
• Point Peninsula (Winter) (Jefferson County)