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Bubo bubo, Uhu, Eurasian eagle-owl The Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of horned owl resident in much of Europe and Asia.The Eagle Owl is a very large and powerful bird, similar in size, but typically slightly smaller than the Golden Eagle. It is the largest species of owl with a wingspan of up to 200 cm. Adult females can weigh in excess of 4 kg (8.8 lbs), in comparison the common Barn Owl weighs about 500 grams (1.1 lbs). It mainly feeds on small mammals, but can kill prey up to the size of foxes and young deer (up to 10 kg/22 lbs), if taken by surprise. Larger prey (over 3 kg/6.6 lbs) is consumed on the ground which leaves the bird vulnerable (i.e. to other foxes). It will also take many other birds including other birds of prey.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 (in German, the name of this bird is "Uhu"). A recent study has shown that these calls are easily individualized. It means that each member of an Eagle Owl population can be individually identified by means of its vocalizations . The Eagle Owl's scientific name comes from its deep booming call. The word "bubo," based on the call, has referred to owls, particularly the Eagle Owl, since the Dark Ages, and is mentioned in Middle English bestiaries.The size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a very distinctive species. It has a strong direct flight. The difference between the male and female is very recognisable as the male's ear tufts are more upright than the female's, while hers are usually drooping down.
The horned owls are a part of the larger grouping of owls known as the typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.The Eagle Owl is largely nocturnal and is found in mountains and forests with cliffs and rocky areas, usually nesting on cliff ledges. They live for around 20 years although like many other bird species in captivity they can live much longer, perhaps up to 60 years.The Eagle Owl was not considered to be naturally resident in England, but according to a BBC TV programme (2005), a pair have been breeding for several years in a valley in Ministry of Defence land in North Yorkshire . There is some debate as to whether these birds are escapees or whether they have arrived naturally from the continent which would only be a relatively short journey. At the time the program was made, they had reared 20 young to independence, and they had 3 young in the nest. Nothing was known of what happened to those 20 young, except that one of them electrocuted itself on power lines in Shropshire. Another bird has been sighted several times in Heaton, Bolton, Lancashire. The BBC reported a pair nesting and aggressively protecting their brood from dog-walkers on a nearby footpath in Lancashire, England in late May 2007.
However, a more recent BBC TV programme (2007) reported that the Eagle Owl is becoming more common in the UK and is showing signs that it is becoming established there, mirroring the recent rapid increase in the Buzzard population with which it shares some similarities, particularly prey and habitat. Buzzards themselves also fall prey to the Eagle Owl.
Although Eagle Owls are usually considered to be a bird of the great wilderness, they have been observed hunting on open landfills in Northern Europe. This poses a certain risk for the owls as any pollutants the rats they feed on have ingested may be enriched in the owls. Eagle Owls that hunt on landfills have also sometimes been seen flying with different kind of waste entangled around their feet.Source:Wikipedia
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