Long Eared Owls in Chicago’s South Loop

Kat and I went down to the south loop for a little long eared owl watching, which was amazing. It was about a month ago that (approx.) ten long eared owls took up residence in a small park in the Chicago’s South Loop.

Rare indeed. From what I gather Owls tend to be private and even a bit “secretive” and usually nest in rural areas where rodents are more prominent. Kat made a good observation about the way garbage is collected in the homes neighboring the park. Not from an alley, but from the front lawns surrounding the park. Hmm… City rats?

There was a small group of people gathered around, the location has been kept secret for awhile, but we checked around a few of the local birding sights and quickly found the spot. The best part was that people who had brought their binoculars were eager to share. Close up these creatures are absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know how else to put it. Just amazing!

Chicago Long Eared Owls

Chicago Long Eared Owls 2

chicago Long Eared Owls 3

Chicago Long Eared Owls 4

15 comments on “Long Eared Owls in Chicago’s South Loop

  1. -

    that’s so cool!

  2. -

    Hi – great photos. We have heard much discussion about the etiquette of viewing these guys, but they have set up camp in a busy area and seemed so undisturbed by it all!

    Not too far from Chicago in DeKalb, Illinois, Northern Illinois University had nesting Great Horned Owls right on campus. Three young fledged and they all were fine with all the folks viewing them too.

    Good birding to you!

  3. -

    My husband had noticed them riding his bike to work. He took me by to see them today – they are beautiful! It is so exciting for those of us living in the South Loop! I have been a “birder” for many years but have never seen one of these owls up close. It is a wonderful event!

  4. -

    are they still there?

  5. - Post author

    Mary,

    I’m really not sure… I have been meaning to go back to see if they are.

  6. -

    I went and saw the owls today. There are still two left. They are beautiful and so cute, all fluffed up. It is amazing how close you can get and they don’t seem to be bothered. A trip well worth it!!

  7. -

    I went back again today. Now there are three of them. All three very easy to see, right out in the open. So beautiful!! Their eyes are open and seem to look right at you with no fear. Go see them!!!!

  8. - Post author

    Thanks for the updates Mary… I am heading down this weekend to see if they are still there so I will let others know.

  9. -

    i have Qesgons
    how long has long eared owls been around
    do long eared owls have a bone in there wings
    where do they live in astralia
    how old can uy tell a long eared owl is
    what is the differance between a female owl to a female long eared owls

  10. -

    gosh owls are soooooooo beautiful. i love them just like i love dragonflies and mole rats. aha weird right?

  11. -

    […] I usually avoid “stake out” birds (rare birds reported in someone’s yard or park and you show up and BOOM it’s there). I don’t think they bring out the best behavior in anyone–myself included. This is especially true when it comes to owls. Everyone has such a STRONG opinion as to whether or not you should report owls. It leads to a lot of debate on listservs and forums.  Some say to never report a roosting owl ever. Others say that you shouldn’t keep bird reports to yourself. Some won’t report them publicly, but collect them and then will privately communicate them when asked, but this leads to accusations that the person collecting the sightings won’t give out the right directions if they don’t like the person who asked. There’s also the poor new birder who gets lambasted for reporting an owl and had no idea so many people think it’s “poor form” to report them. And then you have owls that break convention and roost in heavily trafficked parks. […]

  12. -

    Are they still there?

  13. - Post author

    @sd

    They’ve been gone for quite some time. I believe they were only there for six months or so.

  14. -

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