name = "Asio"
image_width = 200px
genus = "Asio"
genus_authority = Brisson,
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text.
"Asio" is a genus of
typical owls, or true owls, in family Strigidae. The genus "Asio" contains the eared owls, which are characterised by feather tufts on the head which have the appearance of ears. This group has representatives over most of the planet, and the Short-eared Owlis one of the most widespread of all bird species, breeding in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Caribbean, Hawaiiand the Galápagos Islands. Its geographic range extends to all continents except Antarctica and Australia.
These are medium-sized owls, 30-46 cm in length with 80-103 cm wingspans. They are long winged and have the characteristic facial disc.
The two northern species are partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of their range, or wandering nomadically in poor
voleyears in search of better food supplies. Tropical "Asio" owls are largely sedentary.
"Asio" owls are mainly nocturnal, but Short-eared Owls are also
crepuscular. Most species nest on the ground, but the Long-eared Owl, " Asio otus", nests in the old stick nests of crows, ravens and magpies (family Corvidae) and various hawks.
These owls hunt over open fields or grasslands, taking mainly
rodents, other small mammals and some birds.
Stygian Owl, " Asio stygius"
Long-eared Owl, " Asio otus"
African Long-eared Owl, " Asio abyssinicus"
Madagascar Long-eared Owl, " Asio madagascariensis"
Short-eared Owl, " Asio flammeus"
Marsh Owl, " Asio capensis"
Striped Owl, "Asio clamator" - often placed in "Pseudoscops" or "Rhinoptynx"
fossilspecies are recognized nowadays:
* "Asio brevipes" (Glenns Ferry Late Pliocene of Hagerman, USA)
* "Asio priscus" (Late Pliocene of Santa Rosa Island, USA)
The supposed Late Eocene/Early Oligocene eared owl "Asio" henrici" has been recognized as a member of the fossil
barn-owlgenus " Selenornis". "Asio" pygmaeus" (often misspelt "pigmaeus") cannot be assigned to a genus without restudy of the material. "Asio" collongensis" (Middle Miocene of Vieux-Collonges, France) is now placed in the genus " Alasio".(Mlíkovský 2002)
* Mlíkovský, Jirí (2002): "Cenozoic Birds of the World, Part 1: Europe". Ninox Press, Prague. ISBN 80-901105-3-8 [http://www.nm.cz/download/JML-18-2002-CBE.pdf PDF fulltext]
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