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|EURASIAN EAGLE OWL (Bubo bubo)|
Description: The upperparts are brown-black and tawny-buff, showing as dense freckling on the forehead and crown, stripes on the nape, sides and back of the neck, and dark splotches on the pale ground colour of the back, mantle and scapulars. 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 delicately patterned with dark vermiculations 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 centre of the upper breast
The whole of the underparts except for chin, throat and centre of upper breast is covered with fine dark wavy barring, on a tawny-buff ground colour. Legs and feet are likewise marked on a buff ground colour but more faintly.
The tail is tawny-buff, mottled dark grey-brown with about six black-brown bars.
Bill and claws are black, the iris is orange (yellow in some subspecies).
Size: Length: 58-71cm (22.8-28")
Weight: Female 2280-4200g (80.4-158oz) Male 1620-3000g (57.1-105.8oz)
Average Wing Length (one wing only): Female 47.8cm (18.8") Male 44.8cm (17.6")
Habits: Active mainly at dusk to dawn. Flight is noiseless, whith soft wingbeats interrupted by gliding when flying over long distance. Will sometimes soar.
Voice: A deep, monotonous "oohu-oohu-oohu". The female's call is slightly higher than the male's. When threatened, they may bark and growl.
Hunting & Food: 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.
The most common type of prey depends largely on relative availability, but are usually voles and rats. In some coastal areas, they have been known to feed mainly on ducks and seabirds.
Pellets are somewhat compressed, irregularly cylindrical or conical shaped, averaging about 75 x 32 mm (3 x 1.25").
Habitat: Eagle Owls occupy a variety of habitats, from coniferous forests to warm deserts. Rocky landscapes are often favoured. Adequate food supply and nesting sites seem to be the most important prerequisites.
Distribution: North Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East.
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