Short-eared owl over the North Sea


This video is about short-eared owls (Asio flammeus).

Translated from the Dutch ornithologists of Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief:

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Approximately 80 kilometers off the coast workers on an oil rig were surprised by a Short-eared Owl perched with a prey on the platform. How extraordinary is that? A search will soon produce quite a few birds above sea. Short-eared Owls, however, so far out to sea had not been reported much.

Gert-Jan Edel, working on oil rigs in the North Sea, on 20 November saw an owl about which he was not sure which species it was. Pascal Stroeken of the Little Owl Group in the Netherlands (STONE) however, knew immediately. In the pictures you can see that a Short-eared Owl munches on a bird. We think that is a thrush species, common food for Short-eared Owls during migration. Short-Eared Owls eat basically all they can handle. Especially females, bigger than males, can catch larger prey. In pellets and pluck remains we found a lot of brown rats and more than once woodcocks and fieldfares and the like.

The North Sea Bird Club was formed in 1979 as the result of the efforts of a few individuals in the oil industry and Aberdeen University, who saw a unique opportunity to obtain long-term data from offshore on birds and other wildlife: here.

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