/ Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Strigiformes
/ Strigidae / Asio / Species
- Velduil (Dutch)
- Hibou des marais (French)
- Sumpfohreule (German)
- Gufo di palude (Italian)
- Lechuza campestre (Spanish)
- Jorduggla (Swedish)
- Male: 260-350g (B162)
- Female: 280-420g (B162)
Length: 37-39cm (B162);
33-40cm (B164); 38cm (B165).
Wingspan: 95-105cm (B164).
External Appearance: Medium-sized owl with wings very
long, narrow, rather pointed. Head: small, rounded, with minute ear tufts
(rarely seen; raised when disturbed). (B163, B164, B165).
- Dorsal: pale yellow-brown with heavy dark streaking. Tail:
boldly barred, and with white trailing edge. Underparts: buff-white, with
breast heavily streaked, abdomen nearly unmarked.
- Face: pale buff, with pink-buff tinge; eyes:
yellow, with small black patches surrounding. Bill: black.
- Wings: Flight feathers pale
yellow-brown (clear area visible at base on primaries) marked with two or three black
bands towards tip, and white trailing edge. underside pale buff-white,
with tip of wing black and single bold dark bar part way along.
- Feet: feathered; buff-white.
- (B164, B165).
- Female: generally more heavily streaked, with underparts
and face darker than in male (B164)
- Juvenile: More extensive black around eyes, less or
absent markings on breast (B162)
|Range and Habitat
||Widespread northern Europe,
Asia, North America, into South America (B163).
- Britain: found locally in North, sporadically in south;
relatively scarce (B164)
Spitsbergen, Bear Island, Jan Mayen Island, Azores, Madeira, Cape Verde
- Northern Europe mainly migratory, elsewhere sedentary (B164).
- Winter across Europe, south Asia, Africa south of Sahara, North America (B163).
- Migratory or partially migratory (B162).
- Heathland, scrub among meadows, on bogs particularly in upper tree zone
in open boreal forests (B164); moorland and sand dunes (B165); open country: tundra, marshes, young conifer plantations (B163).
- In Britain: moorland heath, hillsides with recent
plantations, extensive rough grazing, marshes, bogs, sand dunes, inshore islands (B162)
- Includes agricultural fields, salt marshes, steppes, deserts (B162, B163)
Mainly lowlands, but in Armenia up to 2000-2350m (B162)
- Voles, other small mammals.
- Small- to medium-sized birds.
(B162, B163, B164)
- Day and night.
- Low searching flights, often hover before pouncing down onto prey.
- Also search from perch.
- Eggs laid: (Britain and north-west Europe) starts late
February or March (B162).
- Nest: On ground, usually in cover such as grass, reeds
or heather, scrape lined with vegetation (B162, B163, B164).
- Eggs white, unmarked, smooth but not glossy, elliptical,
40mm., usually 4-8, may be up to 16 (possibly from two females in one nest) (B162, B163).
- broods: Usually one brood, occasionally two (when voles
particularly abundant) (B162, B163).
- Incubation: 24-29 days (B162);
24-28 days (B163).
- Hatching: asynchronous (B163).
- Chicks: semi-altricial (B163).
- Fledging: 24-27 days (B162, B163)
but leave nest 12-17 days (B162).
- Monogamous seasonal pair bond, probably not renewed one year to next (B162,
- Nest built by female.
- Eggs incubated by female.
- Chicks tended by both parents and dependant on adults
for several weeks after leaving nest.
- Territorial in breeding season.
- Otherwise mainly solitary.
- Sometimes small parties on migration and larger gatherings locally where
Organisations (UK Contacts):
Electronic Library (further reading):