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Birds of Prey Animal Fact Sheet
EURASIAN EAGLE OWL
Bubo bubo

Range:
North Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East. The Male and Female duet during courtship, the Male advertising potential breeding sites by scratching a shallow depression at the site and emitting staccato notes and clucking sounds. Favored nest sites are sheltered cliff ledges, crevices between rocks and cave entrances in cliffs. They will also use abandoned nests of other large birds. If no such sites are available, they may nest on the ground between rocks, under fallen trunks, under a bush, or even at the base of a tree trunk. No nesting material is added. Often several potential depressions are offered to the female, who selects one; this is quite often used again in subsequent years. Very often pairs for life. They are territorial, but territories of neighboring pairs may partly overlap.

During this time, she is fed at the nest by her mate. Once hatched, the young are brooded for about 2 weeks; the female stays with them at the nest for 4-5 weeks. For the first 2-3 weeks the male brings food to the nest or deposits it nearby, and the female feeds small pieces to the young. At 3 weeks the chicks start to feed themselves and begin to swallow smaller items whole. At 5 weeks the young walk around the nesting area, and at 52 days are able to fly a few meters. They may leave ground nests as early as 22-25 days old, while elevated nests are left at an age of 5-7 weeks. Fledged young are cared for by both parents for about 20-24 weeks. They become independent between September and November in Europe, and leave the parents' territory (or are driven out by them). At this time the male begins to sing again and inspect potential future nesting sites. Young reach maturity in the following year, but normally breed when 2-3I years old.

The upperparts are brown-black and tawny-buff, a narrow buff band, freckled with brown buff, runs up from the base of the bill, above the inner part of the eye and along the inner edge of the black-brown, "ear-tufts."

The rump and upper tail-coverts are patterned with dark and fine wavy barring. The facial disc is tawny-buff, speckled with black-brown, so densely on the outer edge of the disc as to form a "frame" around the face. Chin and throat are white continuing down the center of the upper breast. Most of the underparts are covered with fine dark wavy barring, on a tawny-buff ground color. Legs and feet are likewise marked on a buff ground color but more faintly. The tail is tawny-buff, mottled dark gray-brown with about six black-brown bars. Bill and claws are black, the iris is orange (yellow in some subspecies).

A deep, monotonous song, "oohu-oohu-oohu". The female's call is slightly higher than the male's. When threatened, they may bark and growl.

Mostly nocturnal but may be seen hunting in the daylight hours as well. Adults have no real natural enemies; electrocution, collision with traffic, and shooting are the main causes of death.


Eagle Owl Habitat Sponsored By:

Habitat: Eagle Owls occupy a variety of habitats, from coniferous forests to warm deserts. Rocky landscapes are often favored. Adequate food supply and nesting sites seem to be the most important prerequisites
Diet: Eagle Owls have various hunting techniques, and will take prey on the ground or in full flight. They may hunt in forests, but prefer open spaces. Eagle Owls will eat almost anything the moves - from beetles to roe deer fawns. The major part of their diet consists of mammals (Voles, rats, mice, foxes, hares etc...), but birds of all kinds are also taken, including crows, ducks, grouse, seabirds, and even other birds of prey (including other owls). Other prey taken include snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, and crabs.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: The largest owl species in the world with females estimating 6-8 lbs and males 4-6 lbs. With wing spans of 4-6 feet long. Adults average between 6.3-9.8 inches in length.
Lifespan: 29-38 years in captivity.
Reproduction & Offspring: Laying generally begins in late winter, sometimes later. One clutch per year of 1-4 white eggs are laid. They are normally laid at 3 days intervals and are incubated by the female alone, starting from the first egg, for 31-36 days.

 

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