Asio otus
Initiated in 1986, the Long-eared Owl project is an ongoing, year-round effort to chronicle the population of western Montana. It is the longest, most comprehensive study of Long-eared Owls in North America.

Our gratitude goes out to the USFWS, MDFWP, Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, and numerous private landowners for allowing access to research areas.

To date, we have banded more than 1,500 Long-eared Owls. Through recapture, we study their mating, roosting, and migration habits. Here are a few of our discoveries:

Long-eared Owls are capable of long-distance movements, wandering as far away as Mexico, more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from our sites in Montana.

Some male Long-eared Owls return “home” for up to six years, a behavior called “natal philopatry.” Females will also return to the area to breed, but only very rarely.

In general, however, our data indicate a high turnover of our local population from year to year.

We plan to conclude this long-term program over the next three years, conducting comprehensive data analysis and publishing our findings.

To help with the conclusion of the Long-eared Owl Project, click here.


Denver weighing LEOW

Long-eared Owl

The Owl Research Institute is dedicated to owl research, education and conservation.
(406) 644-3412