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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Reima Kekäläinen, M., W. & F. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Pohjolan linnut värikuvin. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Ural Owl

Strix uralensis

  • Family: Owls – Strigidae
  • Appearance: Resembles Tawny Owl, but larger and has longer tail. Cap lacks two pale stripes present on Tawny Owls. Can be distinguished from Great Grey Owl by dark eyes and even bands on tail.
  • Size: Length 50–59 cm, wingspan 103–124 cm, weight 630–1,020 g.
  • Nest: Today usually in large nest-boxes, but would naturally nest inside a broken tree trunk or disused nest of bird of prey.
  • Breeding: 2–6 eggs laid March–April, incubated by female for 27–28 days. Owlets remain in nest for about a month, and learn to fly at 5–6 weeks old.
  • Distribution: Nests in coniferous and mixed forest almost throughout Finland, but most common in southern and central regions. Finnish breeding population estimated at 2,500–4,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Sedentary.
  • Diet: Small mammals, birds.
  • Calls: Mating call similar to Eagle Owl, a dull, deep “hoo-hoo – voohoo-hoo-voohoo”.

Ural Owls’ plumage is mainly brownish grey with many dark streaks. They are larger than the fairly similar Tawny Owl, and have longer tails and more streaked markings. They also lack the two pale stripes visible on the caps of Tawny Owls. They could also be confused with the Great Grey Owl, but Ural Owls have smaller heads, a more uniformly coloured brownish face, dark brown eyes and a series of evenly spaced bands on their tails. Their brown legs are mainly covered with feathers, and they have a yellow beak.

Though they look deceptively gentle, Ural Owls may defend their young fearlessly and aggressively.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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