Wildlife in Norway VIII - Set
Wildlife in Norway VIII - Set for only GBP £3.04
The Eurasian eagle-owl is the huge bird of prey known as a symbol of wisdom and erudition. Everyone from major publishing houses to Harry Potter has made use of different types of owl to strengthen their profile with knowledge and wisdom.
A fully-grown Eurasian eagle-owl has a wingspan of between 1.50 and 1.80 metres. The easiest way to recognise an eagle-owl is by its high «eyebrows» or its bushy ear tufts that look more like horns. Even in the dark he can see well and his wings are constructed so that the eagle-owl can fly almost silently, even in quite dense forest. In coastal areas the eagle-owl preys on gulls and seabirds; inland, small rodents and hare are at the top of the menu. The eagle-owl does not breed until he is 2-3 years old. An eagle-owl couple is faithful – they stay together for life. It is common to find up to six eggs in the nest in March, but the eggs need take over a month to hatch. Thereafter it takes two months for the young to be able to fly, and four more months before they can cope on their own.
Before becoming a protected in 1971, hunting the eagle-owl was in the process of wiping out the species. In recent years it is the electricity pylon which acts like an electric chair on the eagle-owl. The eagle-owl likes to sit up high to watch over its hunting grounds. They sit like this at length before then moving to an even higher point to get a view from a different angle. Electricity pylons are perfect for this - if only they were not filled with electricity. In 2012, Bergens Tidende ran a story about the first perches in electricity pylons for eagle-owls. The electrified cross-bars of the pylon themselves are fitted with spikes to keep the eagle-owl away, but extended bars have been attached to the end of the crossbars where the eagle-owl can sit in safety. After the first ten perches were installed at Tjeldstø in Øygarden in 2012, finding dead eagle-owls by the electricity pylons is a much rarer event. Today between 1,400 and 2,000 eagle-owls breed in Norway.