Reader Geert sent me this amazing video of a Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) nesting in a guy’s window box, producing three gynmormous chicks. The guy seems respectful of this amazing circumstance, though I worry that his failure to keep social distance from the chicks would freak them out. However, they seem fine.
What a lovely thing to observe! here are the Youtube notes:
We could hardly believe it when we got a message from Jos Baart telling us that Europe’s biggest owl, the Eurasian eagle-owl, had made a nest in a planter in front of his window. Not only that, she had also hatched three giant chicks! Now, when he watches television, three huge chicks watch television with him.
Vroege Vogels is a Dutch radio and television show about nature, environment, climate and animal welfare.
Finally, how big are these things? Well, how about ten pounds (4.5 kg)? Imagine lifting two five-pound bags of sugar, and that’s what hefting one of these owls would be like. (That’s the equivalent of nine barn owls!) The size info from Wikipedia:
The Eurasian eagle-owl is a very large bird, smaller than the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) but larger than the snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus), despite some overlap in size with both species. It is sometimes referred to as the world’s largest owl, although Blakiston’s fish owl (B. blakistoni) is slightly heavier on average and the much lighter weight great grey owl (Strix nebulosa) is slightly longer on average. Heimo Mikkola reported the largest specimens of eagle-owl as having the same upper body mass, 4.6 kg (10 lb), as the largest Blakiston’s fish owl and attained a length of around 3 cm (1.2 in) longer. In terms of average weight and wing size, the Blakiston’s is the slightly larger species seemingly, even averaging a bit larger in these aspects than the biggest eagle-owl races from Russia. Also, although 9 cm (3.5 in) shorter than the largest of the latter species, the Eurasian eagle-owl can weigh well more than twice as much as the largest great grey owl. The Eurasian eagle-owl typically has a wingspan of 131–188 cm (4 ft 4 in–6 ft 2 in), with the largest specimens possibly attaining 200 cm (6 ft 7 in). The total length of the species can vary from 56 to 75 cm (22 to 30 in). Females can weigh from 1.75 to 4.6 kg (3.9 to 10.1 lb) and males can weigh from 1.22 to 3.2 kg (2.7 to 7.1 lb). In comparison, the barn owl (Tyto alba), the world’s most widely distributed owl species, weighs about 500 g (1.1 lb) and the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), which fills the eagle-owl’s ecological niche in North America, weighs around 1.4 kg (3.1 lb).
And it’s not endangered: it’s a “species of least concern”.