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Ural Owl

The Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) is a medium-large nocturnal owl. They have an extended distribution area in Europe and Asia, from Sakhalin, Japan and Korea in the east to Scandinavia in the west. There are up to 15 subspecies found in Europe and northern Asia. The northern populations of the Ural Owl occupy similar habitat to the Great Grey Owl, nesting in lowland forests but avoiding dense areas, especially those of purely conifers. In central Europe it is an upland species, preferring deciduous woodland. It usually occupies open woodland and is more often found in moist rather than dry areas.

The Ural Owl is smaller than the Great Grey Owl, and much larger than the Tawny Owl, which it superficially resembles. Distinguishing features apart from the size are the pale, beige-grey-brown Plumage, with copious dark brown streaking on the back, back of the head and under parts. It has a round head with plain beige-grey facial discs, orange-yellow bill and small black eyes. The tail is long and wedge-shaped, with dark barring on the upper tail, and the wings are rounded.

It nests in hollow tree trunks, occasionally in old raptor nests, and increasingly in nest boxes. It normally lays two to four eggs, which hatch after 27-34 days. The young leave the nest after about four weeks, but will not fly until about six weeks old. It is a very aggressive owl, chasing other birds of prey from its territory, and it will attack human intruders, especially when young are present.

Ural Owl


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