The Eurasian eagle owl is one of the largest owl species in the world. Females are larger than males. They have prominent ear-tufts, a large barrel-shaped body, large powerful feathered talons and vivid orange eyes. They are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their plumage is brown in colour, heavily streaked with black. The underside is paler in colour. The throat is white and along with vocal displays, is used to visually communication with other owls. The typical “facial disk” of the owl is less developed than in other species and they have a black beak.
Breeding usually begins in late winter. They nest in old caves, sheltered cliff faces and in the old nests of other large bird species. 1-5 eggs are laid by the female and she incubates these for 34-36 days. During this period it is up to the male to hunt and bring food back to the nest for her. Chicks fledge at about 7 weeks. They remain dependant on their parents for up to 4 months.
Illegal human persecution and the use of pesticides are the main threats to the Eurasian eagle owl. However collisions with power lines and vehicles have also been a problem.