Eurasian eagle owl

(Bubo bubo)

Habitat and Distribution: Found in woodland, open forest, taiga, and steppe habitats throughout Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.

Size: 2-2.5 feet; 3.3-9.2 pounds; wingspan 5-6 feet. Females are larger than males.

Wild Diet: Rodents and other small mammals; reptiles, frogs, fish, and birds up to the size of herons. They may also attack larger mammals like weasels, foxes, young deer, and porcupines.

Predators: Healthy adults have no natural predators. Weakened individuals may fall prey to lynxes, wolverines, wolves and other owls.

Reproduction: Eurasian eagle owls mate for life. Up to 4 eggs are laid in early spring after a 5-week incubation. The young leave the nest at 5-10 weeks of age but are fed by adults for several months while learning how to hunt.

Behavior: Eurasian eagle owls are highly adaptable and may be active at night or in the day. They live in pairs but will hunt individually. They use their keen eyesight and hearing to pinpoint the location of prey items, then swoop in and grab them with their talons.

Conservation

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The Eurasian eagle owl is widespread over a large range and is not considered threatened. However, although they are legally protected, they are still persecuted in many parts of their range.

Did you know?

  • The Eurasian eagle owl is the heaviest owl species in the world.
  • Owls can see approximately 3 times better than a human at night.
  • Owl ears are set crooked on their head, which helps them pinpoint the origin of a sound.
  • Owls can't move their eyes in their heads, but very flexible necks allow them to turn their heads 3/4 of the way around in either direction.