Animals 061

Eagle Owl - Tel

The Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is one of the largest members of the owl family, smaller than a golden eagle but bigger than a snowy owl.

Although fossil evidence shows the bird used to be native to Britain during Stone Age times (but became extinct for whatever reason), the Eagle Owl has not actually been properly breeding in Britain until a few years ago, the only other sightings being lost birds that had somehow blown off course.

However, there are now several breeding pairs in Scotland, North Yorkshire and Lancashire, and are slowly spreading throughout Britain. this has led to some concern amongst conservationalists and the government alike, since for one thing it may be damaging to farmers with lambs, but also there is video footage of an Eagle Owl attacking a Hen Harrier, though wildlife officials are not sure whether this could be a one-off or could be affecting Hen Harriers.

The Eagle Owl is thought to have come to Britain because of ecaped birds from wildlife parks and zoos, since they are popular in wildlife parks due to them being easy to breed and impressive to visitors. The government are still in a bit of a debate with conservationalists over whether to cull the bird or not, since although there is the risk of them causing damage to other species there are still many people who think that they should return to Britain after being extinct for so long and would like to see them back.


Wingspan:138-200 cm (55-79 inches)

Length: 58-75 cm (23-30 inches)

Weight: Female: 1.75-4.5 kilos Male: 1.5-3.2

General Apperance: Large, tawny brown with black speckles, bill and claws black in colour. Eyes are usually bright orange (yellow in some subspecies). Long ear tufts, the male's ear tufts are more upright whereas the female's are more horizontally positioned.

Diet: Hares, voles, mice, rabbits, but will also take young deer and foxes if taken by surprise, though, ironically, Eagle Owls are also preyed on by foxes. Those living by the coast will also take seabirds.


The call of the Eagle Owl is a deep resonant “ooh-hu” with emphasis on the first syllable for the male, and a more high-pitched uh-Hu for the female. Each member of an Eagle Owl population can be identified by means of its vocalizations.

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