Striginae, Tribe Bubonini
Strix bubo Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden. Fourteen subspecies are recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Common, great, or northern eagle-owl; French: Grand-duc d’Europe; German: Uhu; Spanish: Bъho Real.
23.6–29.5 in (60–75 cm). Female, 2.2–5.5 lb (1,750–4,200 g). Male, 1.5–3.2 lb (1,500–2,800 g). The largest owl, it is almost barrel-shaped. It has prominent, erect ear tufts, golden to orange eyes, and a powerful, black beak. Legs and feet are fully feathered. The subspecies vary in size, overall color, and intensity of dark markings.
Europe from Spain to northern Norway and Finland on through Asia to Pacific, south to Iraq and Iran, Pakistan, and China.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is less able to cope with human habitation than its United States counterpart the great horned owl. It is found in more inaccessible areas—rocky terrains, wilderness, forests and woodlands, and rocky farmlands.
This owl is territorial and mainly sedentary except in the very north of its range. It is primarily nocturnal, but is sometimes active at dawn and dusk as well. At the northern edge of its range, this owl is active during the day in summer.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds mainly on mammals from voles to hares (hedgehogs are important in some areas), birds up to pheasant size, and occasionally diurnal birds of prey. It usually hunts from an open perch.
Often nests in rocky crevices and caves; will use old birds’ nests, but seems to prefer the ground. Lays two to four eggs. Incubation is 34–36 days. Young fledge at 10 weeks. An average of 1.6 young are produced per successful nest.
Not globally threatened, but uncommon to rare throughout its range.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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