While the breeding range of the Long-eared Owl encompasses the entire state, there have been few Maine summer records, and these have been primarily in the north and east. This is likely largely due to Long- eared Owls being secretive and rarely observed, not vocalizing often, and using a variety of habitats. Northward migration is usually finished by late April and southward migration beginning by late September. However, male breeding calls peak in February and March, with sporadic calling into June. Males perform a wing-clap display as part of courtship which also may be heard during the early part of breeding season. Males occasionally hoot (a monotone “hoo”) during the day when nests are approached too closely. Usually found in areas with a mix of forested and open habitats, with nesting and roosting in dense vegetation and hunting in adjacent open habitats. Long-eared Owl nests are typically constructed in abandoned nests of other birds including crows, ravens, and hawks.
Safe Dates: April 20th to July 25th (applicable for only the S or H
Breeding Codes: Because of this species’ elusive nature, all potential breeding records should be carefully documented. The most likely breeding code for this species is FL for observations of recently edged young not yet capable of strong flight. Young bird will stand on the edge of their nest for several days before moving into nearby branches.