The Eurasian eagle-owls, which are the largest living species of owl are rare in heavily human-populated places. They are found in much of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and live in many habitats but mostly in mountain regions, forests, steppes, and other relatively isolated places.
Habits and Lifestyle
They are largely nocturnal, and most of their activities are focused in the first few hours after sunset and the last few hours before sunrise. The daily hours they may roost singly or in pairs in trees or in rock crevices. Their communication is with the help of vocalizations that are used at different times, mainly heard during the colder months from late fall through winter.
Diet and Nutrition
They are monogamous and often mate for life. Couples have special rituals throughout the year, and their courtship starts in January and February. Rituals are performed with mutual bowing, billing and fondling. Eurasian owls do not build nests and do not add material, but nest on a surface or material that is already present and the male chooses breeding sites while the female chooses one breeding site. Couples use these selected places from year to year. The clutch is usually 1-2, rarely 3 to 4 eggs and incubation lasts 31 to 36 days.
The owlets open their eyes at 4 days of age and they can walk well at five weeks of age while by seven weeks are taking short flights. They become reproductively mature and are ready to breed at 2 to 3 years of age.
The statistics of the IUCN Red List shows that the total Eurasian eagle-owl population size is around 100,000-499,999 mature individuals, but their numbers today are decreasing.
Even the eagle owls can be rarely seen in heavily human-populated places, recently a Belgian man heard noisy birds on his balcony planter. At first, he thought that it was the noise of the pesky pigeons, but he discovered three huge owl hatchlings.
According to Baart’s knowledge it is relatively difficult to even photograph them in nature, which was not the case with these chicks. They’ve been hanging outside his apartment window all spring, so he could follow how they impressively grew.
Baart shared with others how they spend a lot of time staring at each other, but fascinating moments were when he turns on the television, so that caught their attention and they watched together with him.
This story was hardly accepted by many, but Baart shared the video that shows those hatched three giant chicks!
Watch the video:
- Meanwhile, their mother owl keeps an eye on them from behind the foliage in the planter.
Fun Facts for Eurasian Eagle-Owl
- They are characterized by strong and direct flight, which usually consists of a shallow wing beat and long, surprisingly fast slides.
- Unusually for owls, they can climb hills on rare occasions.
- They are very sedentary and usually maintain one territory during their adult life.
- The position of the body is great for camouflage if it encounters a threatening or new animal or sound.
- They can walk and leave the nest before they can fly, so they climb around the nest which is why they are called “granaries”.