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Eagle owl


The eagle owl is the largest present owl species on earth. Females are significantly larger than males (reverse sexual dimorphism). The heaviest Central European female eagle owl weighed 3200 g. The difference in size between males and females is also evident in the wingspan. The wingspan of males averages 157 cm, that of females 168 cm.

The head is large and has strikingly long feather ears. These usually stand off obliquely to the side or back. The eagle owl also has the facial disc typical of owls, but less pronounced than, for example, the long-eared owl or barn owl. The body plumage of that species in Central Europe is a light brown with dark longitudinal and transverse stripes. The back is darker than the belly, and the underparts of the wings are also more lightly feathered. The individual subspecies of the eagle owl differ in body size and in the basic colouration of their plumage.


Mainly due to human persecution, the eagle owl was largely restricted to the low mountain ranges and the Alps in Central Europe. In the meantime, the lowlands are increasingly being recolonized. The typical hunting ground or foraging area has an average size of 40 square kilometers. In its range, the eagle owl shows how strongly it can adapt to the different conditions of its habitat. Eagle owls live in almost treeless desert mountains and steppes, in sparse boreal coniferous forests, and in subtropical latitudes. They are also found along seashores.

The ideal hunting ground for the eagle owl is diversely structured and interspersed with hedges, water bodies and field shrubs as well as open field areas. While eagle owls defend the narrow area around the nest, this does not apply to their hunting ground. This partly overlaps with that of neighboring individuals. In habitats that offer optimal conditions, the population of eagle owls can be very dense. 

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uhu). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“licence. Status: 17 December 2021