Illinois Outdoors at
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Chris' Camera Bag

A Photo Web log by Chris Young

Short-eared owls

February 14, 2013 at 09:19 AM

Illinois hunting and fishing

Touring the Nipper WIldlife Sanctuary south of Springfield, Wednesday, brought an unexpected treat.

Six short-eared owls were seen using the restored prairie.

Short-eared owls are prairie owls, nesting on the ground and feeding mostly on voles.

These birds likely are migrants, and are spending part of the winter here.

They are listed as Illinois state-endangered due to habitat loss, meaning few pairs stay to raise a family.

Back when Illinois was two-thirds covered by prairie, short-eared owls likely were the most common owl found here.

It is always gratifying to see habitat restoration projects, like the one at Nipper, paying dividends.

Here’s a recent article on the progress of the Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary where a nature center and other amenities are under construction.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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