I’m still drawing owls, I’m working towards a full set of English owls. This week it is the turn of the Long-eared Owl; in these drawings and paintings I am still paying attention to pattern, colour and simple forms. I’m using black marker pens for the line and pattern, then splashing on watercolour afterwards. I found drawing the essential forms of this owl’s facial features more difficult to capture than my previous owls.
Some facts about Long-eared Owls are:
1) It’s ‘ear tufts’ are nothing to do with the owls ears, and in fact are feathery tufts that the owl raises when it is alarmed.
2) This owl is nocturnal and secretive; and therefore only usually spotted when migrating or travelling back and forth to a communal roost in winter. Communal roosting is an unusual characteristic of this species of owl.
3) These owls roost in dense vegetation and forage in open grasslands or shrublands; also open coniferous or deciduous woodlands.
4) The loud hoot of the male Long-eared Owl can sometimes be heard up to 1 kilometer away.
5) Typical lifespan is 4 years.
(© Catherine Cronin)