February 2009 - One of the most reliable plumage differences between Short-eared Owls in their first year of life (i.e. hatch-year/second-year) and older individuals appears to be the tail - specifically the central rectrices.  On adult birds such as this specimen, there is a diffuse dark pattern at the tip of the shaft of the central rectrices; the pattern on these feathers is also typically rather different from that on adjacent feathers.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.