The long-eared owl measures between 30 and 40 centimetres and has a wingspan of up to 1 metre. The long, blackish ear tufts that give the owl its name can be practically invisible when the owl is relaxed or in flight. It has orange eyes and bark-coloured plumage.
The long-eared owl lives in forests in the vicinity of open country, in copses among arable fields, and in larger parks with conifers. It can be found throughout Europe and Asia, except the far north. Owls from the northern part of its range move south in winter.
Long-eared owls hunt in open country by night, gliding with stiff wings. They feed mainly on rodents and birds.