Short-eared Owls. Like other "eared" owl species (i.e., Great Horned Owl or Long-eared Owl), the ears are merely tufts of feathers. Feeding primarily on small mammals, this widespread owl can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Short-eared Owls have a distinctive, erratic flight frequently described as "moth-like". They are currently listed as "endangered" in New York State possibly due to a loss of grasslands and other open habitats.