This time last year, my friend Mike and I were driving up the Gang Ranch road when we saw this short-eared owl sitting on a fence post. Fortunately, Mike was driving so I just opened my window and was able to make this image. As you can see, their short ear tufts may not be visible. These owls are often seen in open grasslands. Their wing spans are up to about 44 cm or 17 inches. Females are slightly larger than males.
So if you are traveling through the grasslands this winter, keep your eye open for short-eared owls.