The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) is a large, nocturnal bird of prey and a raptor. It is also known as the European Eagle-Owl.
The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is heavily built with a large head, a grey facial disc, and tufted ears. It has tawny-brown feathers mottled with darker blackish feathers. It has freckling on the forehead and crown, and stripes on the nape, sides and back of the neck. Its wings and tail are barred. It has tufted feathers on its ears are called plumicorns. It has large orange eyes. It has feathered feet with sharp talons (claws). Its beak is dark-coloured.
It can rotate its head, which gives it an arc of vision of 270 degrees. A human has an arc of vision of 120 degrees.
It measures about 75 centimetres (30 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 180 centimetres (71 inches).
The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is widespread across Europe and Asia. It can live in many habitats, but it is mainly found in mountain regions and coniferous forests. It does not like tropical and humid forests.
It eats rabbits, hares, rats, mice, voles, birds, reptiles, frogs, toads, insects, and small mammals. It is nocturnal, hunting at night. It swoops on its prey, while its prey is on the ground. It usually eats its prey whole.
It does not make its own nest. The male Eurasian Eagle-Owl selects a few nests from other birds to show the female. The female chooses the best nest site. The female lays 1-4 eggs, which hatch after 31-36 days. Only the female sits on the eggs, while the male brings her food. The chicks fly after about 49 days.
The eagle-owl can live for up to 20 years in the wild.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM