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    Birds of Prey: European Eagle Owl

    ArticleBirds of Prey AdviceThursday 09 December 2010
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    Birds of Prey Guide: The European Eagle Owl

    Eagle Owls are fairly rare in Britain, but their presence on our domestic shores has increased in recent years, and if you’re intrigued by birds of prey, these are definitely amongst the most intriguing of birds in that category.

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    The European Eagle Owl has flourished in recent years on the continent, however, and it’s thought that a number may be introduced into Britain during the next few years should this bird of prey not have too much of adverse effect on native breeds.

    The Eagle Owl is smaller in comparison to some of the most famous birds of prey (such as the Golden Eagle) but still can measure up to an impressive 73 cm long. The wingspan of the bird is around 190 cm – to learn more facts about the European Eagle Owl, read on.

    Eagle Owls Factfile

    •    Although as mentioned above this bird of prey is smaller than the Golden Eagle, it’s still somewhat larger than the Snowy Owl – in fact this bird is often nicknamed the ‘world’s largest owl’, although some experts believe the Blackiston’s Fish Owl runs it close for this title.

    •    Females can weigh anything up to 4.2kg – to put this in perspective, the average Barn Owl can weigh less than 500g.

    •    The European Eagle Owl mainly feeds on small mammals, but the power of this predator shouldn’t be underestimated – if these birds of prey are surprised or placed under threat, they can kill larger animals including foxes and deer.

    •    If you’re keen on bird watching and want to identify the call of an Eagle Owl, they make a deep, resonant sound that has a stress on the first part of the sound.

    •    Eagle Owls are nocturnal birds and tend to live in mountain areas, with their preferred habitat being cliff ledges. Although these birds tend to be wild, they have been increasingly spotted in many urban areas of Europe in recent years.

    •    This bird of prey has even had a cultural reference in recent years – in the original Clash of the Titans film, the goddess Athena’s owl was named ‘Bubo’, a tribute to the original Latin name, ‘Bubo Bubo’, for the European Eagle Owl.

     

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