Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.28(2). (2020) p.19-23.

Town avenues as flight corridors for Long-eared Owls (Asio otus)
Thomas Oliver Mérő & Antun Žuljević

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During winter, Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) usually roost in groups in urban areas, but their nocturnal movement patterns are less known. The aim of our study is to provide insight into the local-scale urban movement habits of Long-eared Owls. Our study was carried out between 2015 and 2019 in the autumn and winter period, by observations in the early evening and by ringing and recapture of owls in the town of Sombor (NE Serbia). We observed owls when leaving the roosting site located in the town centre following the greenery of the larger avenues towards the outskirts. Owls were sporadically observed in densely built areas of the town, narrow streets with less greenery. Ringing and recapture data suggest that owls were closely linked to the green corridors. They probably used these corridors for easier orientation and to prey on birds roosting in trees in the town, such as sparrows (Passer domesticus, P. montanus), Common Blackbirds (Turdus merula) or Fieldfares (T. pilaris) appearing in harsh winters, and sometimes also pigeons.