© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, M., W. & F. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Pohjolan linnut värikuvin. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.
- Name also: Eurasian Eagle-owl
- Family: Owls – Strigidae
- Appearance: Europe’s largest owl, similar in appearance to long-eared owl but twice the size. Short tail, broad winds, blunt head with long ear tufts and “burning” orange eyes.
- Size: Length 59–73 cm, wingspan 138–170 cm, weight 1.6–3 kg (male), 2–4 kg (female).
- Nest: Typically in hollows in rocky ground, on cliffs or by standing or uprooted trees.
- Breeding: Lays 1–4 eggs March-April. Only females incubate, for 35 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 5–7 weeks, and learn to fly within 8–9 weeks.
- Distribution: Breeds in forests almost throughout Finland. Almost became extinct in Finland in the mid 20th Century due to persecution. Protection and improvements in habitat led to a recovery in the late 20th Century, but the species has declined again during the 2000s. Moving into some urban areas. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1,300–1,400 pairs.
- Migration: Sedentary. Young birds may fly into new areas in autumn, winter and spring.
- Diet: Hares, rats and other small mammals, birds.
- Calls: Mating call a deep, hollow, far-reaching “UU-hu”.
- Endangerment: Endangered, protected throughout Finland, including the Åland Islands. Globally Least concern.
Eagle Owls are Finland’s largest owls. Their plumage is rusty brown with black markings. They have large heads with striking ear tufts and fiercely glowing orange-coloured eyes. In flight their wings look long, broad and round-tipped, and their tails appear quite short. Their legs are covered with feathers, and their claws and beaks are black.