Ural owl

LIVING HABITS

The Ural owl is an eastern species found in Scandinavia but not in other parts of Western Europe. In Finland it breeds all over the country except the northernmost parts of Lapland and Åland. It feeds mainly on small rodents, but also on other small mammals, birds and frogs. The Ural owl prefers old conifer and mixed forests as habitat. It likes to nest in hollow tree trunks, but accepts also twig nests of birds of prey and nest boxes. The Ural owl is known to ferociously defend its nest when threatened; the female Ural owl may attack an intruder without a warning, using its bill and claws to drive away the intruder.

PROTECTION

The Ural owl is a protected species by law.

ADAPTING TO THE WINTER

The Ural is a non-migratory species, preferring to stay in the same region winter and summer, year after year. Like our other owls its adaptation to the arctic winter is good; its distribution, like with our other owls though, doesn’t extend to the northernmost part of Lapland.

Ural owl

Strix uralensis

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SIZE: Weight: 450-1020g, wingspan: 125-135cm, females larger than males.

BREEDING: Female lays 3-4 eggs March-April, incubation period: 31-34 days and nights.

LIFESPAN: According to ringing data, the oldest Ural owl has lived to 24 years of age.

Did you know that the current efficient forestry in Finland diminishes the nesting spots of the Ural owl; the old, hollow tree trunks struck to pieces by storms in the woods disappear. The plight concerns other bird species too. Fortunately, nowadays humans provide nest boxes in the woods and other areas of the country as well.