December 12, 2011, by Fraser

12 December: Short-eared snow owl in a snowy landscape

Short-eared owl

This drawing of a short-eared owl is held in the Porter Collection and is from a time when specimens were shot and collected to provide knowledge of different species. Drawn by artist E Neale, the image features in ET Booth’s volume Rough notes on the birds observed during twenty-five years’ shooting and collecting in the British Islands (London, 1881).

If you’re keen to see the short-eared owl in flight anytime in the next few months, we spoke to the University’s resident expert Dr Robert Lambert about where you stand the best chance of spotting one in the local area:


If you can’t see the audio player, try this alternative location or view on iTunes U.

As Dr Lambert confirms in the video, your best bet for finding the short-eared owl in the Nottingham area is either Attenborough Nature Reserve or Rutland Water.

To further whet your appetite, here’s a short video from Bill Oddie Goes Wild showing a short-eared owl in action:

Dr Lambert is a lecturer in Tourism and the Environment at Nottingham University Business School. He has been involved in the making of a number of major natural history and wildlife television series including Birds Britannia and Making Scotland’s Landscape.

This is the bird enthusiast’s second appearance in our e-Advent calendar. So if you’ve enjoyed today’s blog, see what he and Springwatch executive producer Stephen Moss had to say about Christmas favourite the Robin red-breast on 2 December.

All of the items featured in our e-Advent calendar are from the University’s historic library holdings, held in Manuscripts and Special Collections. For more information on the wide range of materials available, take a look at their website and blog or contact the curators on

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Posted in ManuscriptsNature