Xena – Eurasian Eagle Owl
Hatched: March 18, 1999
Xena, whose parents are K.C. and Sailor, was hatched at the World Bird Sanctuary. She was carefully raised and trained by our staff to be an educational bird. Xena educates people about Eurasian Eagle Owls of the world and what an amazing part of the environment they are. Xena’s travels have taken her to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Grant’s Farm where she spent the summer of 2000, and hundreds of towns throughout the Midwest. Her most amazing journey was to California, where she appeared with Walter Crawford and Jack Hanna on the Rainbird Float in the 2002 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Species: Eurasian Eagle Owl
Latin Name: Bubo bubo
Description: similar to the great horned owl, but much larger; prominent ear tufts are usually laid back; streaked breast, mottled brownish feathers; some have orangish-brown feathers on the face, underparts, wings, and back; orange-yellow or deep fiery orange eyes; adults and juveniles similar in appearance
Sex: coloration the same for both sexes; females larger than males; call of the female is slightly higher pitched than the male’s
Age: once past first year, into the 20’s in the wild; recorded into their 60’s in captivity
Weight: 3.5-9 lbs.
Habitat: rocky outcrops and coniferous forests; hunt in open plains areas; warm deserts; can be found in taiga, farmlands, steppes, semi-arid areas, grasslands
Status: never common; can be considered rare and locally endangered; have been shot and trapped extensively; affected by deforestation
Range: northern Europe through Asia and into northern Africa
Behavior: nests are shallow depressions scratched out on rock ledges or in caves; lay 1-4 eggs at 3-day intervals from the end of February to the end of April, depending on food supply; the female does the majority of the incubating for 31-36 days, while the male hunts; the chicks fledge at 7-8 weeks, but are cared for by the parents for 20-24 weeks; if the nest is on the ground they may fledge earlier; swoop down on prey when hunting; can catch prey from the air or the ground, or may be seen plunging into water
Diet: medium sized mammals and birds, like opossums, hares, foxes, ducks, quail, and pheasant; also eat insects and small rodents; roe deer fawns; coastal residents may feed mainly on ducks and seabirds
Vocalization: long, booming “oo-hoooh;” females sometimes make a coarse “kraah” sound during mating season; chicks make the “kraah” sound as well; when threatened they may bark and growl
Other Information: Eurasian Eagle Owls are the largest owls in the world and have no real predators except electrocution, collision with traffic, and shooting