Eurasian Eagle-owl photo by Jon Christopher Meyers

Eurasian Eagle-owl

Named 'eagle' owl for its large size, the Eurasian Eagle-owl is one of the largest owls in the world. A relative of the Great Horned Owl, the Eagle-owl has more pronounced plumicornes (ear tufts), large orange eyes, and an overall more ochre color. The plumage is buffy-brown, paler on the underparts, and heavily mottled and streaked with black, with fine barring on the belly and flanks, and dark bars on the wings and tail. The throat is white and is used in intraspecific communication, as a visual signal associated with vocal displays. The beak is black, and the legs and large, powerful toes are fully feathered buffy-white. There are a number of subspecies, whose appearance varies somewhat in size, color, and the amount of black barring/streaking.

 

Meet our resident Eurasian Eagle-owl:

Dmitri a Eurasian Eagle-owl was hatched under human care in St. Louis, Missouri at the World Bird Sanctuary. Dmitri joined the Raptor Center’s education team in 2010, at two months old, to expand fundraising and educational outreach opportunities that the Raptor Center’s native species cannot fill do to federal regulations. He is available for private parties and special events. Dmitri furthers our mission of connecting people to wildlife. Dmitri is part of the outreach team.​

Offsite Programs with Dmitri:

A Raptor Experience at Your Private Event! – Dmitri is available to be your guest at your special event. Depending on your needs, Dmitri's handler can give a presentation or just be a part of your event to add a special touch. Weddings, Spring Flings, Tea Parties, Company Picnics and Holiday Gatherings are made special by the presence of Dmitri.


Owl-a-Grams – Do you have a special message or package that needs to be delivered in the Eugene/ Springfield area? Dmitri and his handler can be your special-delivery-owl. Nothing says that your message is important like being delivered by an Eagle Owl!

Birthday Parties in Your Home! – The Cascades Raptor Center is a favorite destination for birthday parties for all ages. However, during the rainy season, you might want to have a birthday party at your home. Dmitri and his handler give a short presentation, demonstrate some amazing raptor skills and, finally, a special take-away for the participants is included. 

Unique Education Experiences – Let your imagination run wild! Dmitri can help add a touch of raptor education to many special events.


Studio Work – Dmitri is able to do both outdoor and indoor studio work for businesses and other commercial productions. Dmitri has several years of experience working in front of the camera. He is able to do several different behaviors on cue in a studio setting. A list of his previous experiences can be provided upon request.

For more information, please call 541-485-1320 or email Dmitri Eagle-owl

 

Adoptive "Parents" of Dmitri:

An Admiring Friend  •  Marty Beyer– in honor of Koan Geisel & Talia Schulkin
Fred Hewitt  •  Tom & Marie McCann  •  Corie Davini
Tessla & Finnegan Tolman  •  Michael & Andrea Pace
Dancing Sol Nature Pre-school  •  Kari & Jeff Rose
Rachael and Alex Alionheart  •  Reid Hart & Alida Birch 

Notes

Scientific Name

Bubo bubo

Size

Size

Male Female
Length 23 - 29" 23 - 29"
Wing Span 4.5 - 5.8' 4.5 - 5.8'
Weight 3.3 - 6.2 lb. 3.9 - 9.2 lb.

Range

With one of the largest range of any Eagle-owl, the Euroasian Eagle-owl is found from Portugal, and a small region in North Africa eastward through Europe - along the Mediterranean and in the Scandinavian countries. Absent or rare from mainland western European countries and the United Kingdom. More common in Scandinavia through Siberia, and the Caucus Mountain region, northern India and Mongolia, and as far east as China and Korea. Rare in the northern islands of Japan.

Status/Conservation

This owl is endangered in many parts of Europe mostly due to persecution by humans. Protected by laws in most countries where it is found, they still suffer persecution, but have been recovering in some European countries. It is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and listed on Appendix II of CITES. Little detailed data is available on Asian populations. The Euroasian Eagle-owl has recovered to some extent in Europe as a result of improved protection, extensive reintroduction / restocking programs, and an increased food supply due to clear-felling and the proliferation of refuse dumps, with the resulting increases in rats and other rodents. Conservation measures recommended include protecting its habitat from development and extensive logging, as well as action to prevent collisions with power lines. Breeding pairs in Britain are thought to represent escapes from captivity, and it has been recommended that the potential impact of this large bird of prey on native wildlife be assessed.

Habitat

Found in mountains and forests with cliffs and rocky areas, usually nesting on cliff ledges. In cities, have been seen hunting on rodents in landfills – risking poisoning from ingested toxins and getting entangled in waste. This owl usually inhabits natural rocky areas with cliffs and ravines, as well as quarries and buildings, patches of woodland or scattered trees. It also occurs in open forest, taiga, wooded steppe, semi-desert, and farmland with suitable rocky areas, and can be found at elevations of up to about 6500 ft in Europe and close to 15,000 ft in Central Asia and the Himalayas. Recently, this species has started to colonize urban habitats and is now breeding in several towns in Europe.

Diet

Hunting is typically from an open perch or in flight. Eagle-owls will eat almost anything that moves - from beetles to roe deer fawns. The major part of their diet consists of mammals (e.g., voles, rats, mice, foxes, hares), but birds of all kinds are also taken, including crows, ducks, grouse, seabirds, and even other birds of prey (including other owls). Other prey taken include snakes, lizards, frogs, fish (by plunging into water), and crabs. The most common type of prey depends largely on relative availability, but is usually voles and rats. In some coastal areas, they have been known to feed mainly on ducks and seabirds.

Call

A deep, resonant hoot, stressed at the beginning and dropping at the end: "UH-hoo, UH, hoo." The female has a higher pitch than the male. When disturbed or aggressive, a bill clack is given by both sexes.

Nesting

On cliff ledges, caves, or unused nests of other large birds. Like most owls, they do not construct a nest. The Euroasian Eagle-owl is thought to be highly sensitive to disturbance, particularly during incubation, which may cause adults to abandon eggs and even small young.

Most Common Problems

Human persecution, collisions with power lines and vehicles. Pesticide poisoning also causes problems when owls ingest poisoned rodents. The Eurasian Eagle-owl underwent a significant decline in Europe during the 20th century, due mainly to human persecution. Pesticide use and poisoning from mercury seed-dressings have also been a problem, as have collisions with vehicles, barbed wire and power lines. In addition, diseases such as myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease have decimated rabbit populations in some areas, with severe effects for the Eagle-owl population. Although the species has now recovered to some extent, and is not currently considered globally threatened, illegal persecution still occurs, and the population remains below its former levels.