broken vows (part 2)
However, the species is even more marked for its ability to live on more diverse prey than possibly any other comparably sized raptorial bird, which, given its considerable size, is almost fully restricted to eagles. [20][58], Three other lagomorphs extensively overlap in range with Eurasian eagle-owls in Europe, the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in the northern portions, the European hare (Lepus europaeus) in the central and eastern portions and the Granada hare (Lepus granatensis) in the western Mediterranean portions. The Eurasian eagle-owl is the primary predator of other birds of prey throughout Eurasia, not even the prolific raptor-killing northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) equals the sheer number of raptors taken. In zoos, Eurasians require care similar to that of other owl species. In Spain, golden eagles, Bonelli's eagles and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) most often nest on cliffs. [3] The European owls with the most similar diets to eagle-owls are 475 g (1.047 lb) tawny (Strix aluco) and 785 g (1.731 lb) Ural owls (Strix uralensis), although both are considerably smaller and less powerful and more specialized to hunt in wooded environments. [2] The most regularly reported water bird prey in Europe were, roughly in this order, the 343 g (12.1 oz) common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), the 836 g (1.843 lb) Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), 1,140 g (2.51 lb) mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), 284 g (10.0 oz) black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), and the 340 g (12 oz) Eurasian teal (Anas crecca). Eurasian badgers, wild boars and raccoon dogs and raccoons, the latter two both where non-native in Germany, have also reportedly preyed on nests that they can access. This is not the case in arid desert-like regions, where limited nesting options frequently force diverse owls to use rocky areas as nesting sites. [23] Other large species have been hunted, some may be cases of nest robbery rather than large adults but none are heavier than the largest mammalian prey that eagle-owls have taken including greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), bar-headed goose (Anser indicus), great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), Himalayan snowcock (Tetraogallus himalayensis) and demoiselle crane (Anthropoides virgo), all averaging around 2,500 g (5.5 lb), the 3,500 g (7.7 lb) swan goose (Anser cygnoides), the 5,500 g (12.1 lb) common crane (Grus grus) and the 8,000 g (18 lb) (between the dimorphic sexes) great bustard (Otis tarda). However, perhaps the most significant contributor of prey at the family level is the corvids and all available species have been targeted. [116] However, due its greater size and power than overlapping owls and smaller diurnal raptors, it generally takes more diverse and larger prey than most overlapping raptorial birds. [18] The common vole and European water vole together made up roughly 80% of the prey by number in the High Tatras of Slovakia and more than 60% of the diet in bordering Poland. [51] In the Transbaikal, the 24 g (0.85 oz) Chinese striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis) was the main prey species, making up 43.8% of the diet. Vazhov, S. V., Karyakin, I. V., Nikolenko, E. G., Barashkova, A. N., Smelansky, I. E., Tomilenko, A. [18], Jirds, jerboas, gerbils and hamsters, particular the genera Allactaga, Ellobius, Gerbillus, Meriones, and Pygeretmus, start to become noticeable in the diet in the more arid portions of this species’ range, i.e. The zookeepers feed them a variety of rats, mice, chicks, and more. Eagle Owl in the Aral-Caspian Region, Kazakhstan. Even though they live across a massive range, they are somewhat rare. [3] The undigestable portions of prey are regurgitated in the form of pellets as in all owls. [48][77] After killing hedgehogs, the Eurasian eagle-owls peel the prickly skin off their backs before consumption, frequently resulting in up to dozens of hedgehog backs being found around nests. [139] Remarkably, considering the greater threat that the eagle normally poses to the eagle-owl than vice versa, it appeared a golden eagle was amongst the prey remains found around a nest in the French Pyrenees. In some cases, these may be undigested insects in the stomachs of birds eaten by the eagle-owl but Eurasian eagle-owls have been verified as actively hunting insects and aquatic invertebrates such as snails and crabs before. [2][95] Both are taken in such large numbers that they rank in the top five most regularly hunted bird species in Europe. [57] On the other hand, in Slovenia, Netherlands and Bavaria, the European hares taken were estimated to average 2,500 g (5.5 lb), 4,500 g (9.9 lb) and 4,750 g (10.47 lb), respectively. [14][95] Eagle-owls in northwestern Poland, an area heavily dotted with lakes, relied on birds for about 64% of the diet, more than half of which were water birds. It is also called the European eagle-owl and in Europe, it is occasionally abbreviated to just the eagle-owl. This species is known to take a greater diversity of fish (more than 30 species verified) and is more widely reported to hunt them than the great horned owl. [2][95] The diet of a handful of eagle-owl pairs in the Riau Islands Province of France were found to be dominated by water birds, especially the 1,154 g (2.544 lb) yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis), the colonial abundance of which allowed the eagle-owls to atypically occupy these small islands. Lloveras, L., Moreno‐García, M., & Nadal, J. [101] Other birds of prey are perhaps second only to pigeons and corvids amongst avian contributors to the diet (their ecological relationships with eagle-owls are explored in more detail below). They are large birds, so they need plenty of space to stretch their wings. Penteriani, V., Sergio, F., del Mar Delgado, M., Gallardo, M., & Ferrer, M. (2005). [76] Studies from both Syria and Kazakhstan showed that the 365 g (12.9 oz) long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) was the most significant prey, making up 25.3% and 33.6% of the prey remains, respectively. [30][31][32][33][34][35] The brown rat is even the primary prey in Lebanon despite it being tied solely to human habitations as the environment is often too arid to allow it to survive further afield. In the Italian Alps, despite differing habitat preferences and partially overlapping prey, several tawny owls were killed by eagle-owls. These two Strix species are highly territorial and sedentary like the eagle-owl and capable of taking a broad range of prey, including good numbers of birds and larger prey such as rabbits (for the tawny owl) and hares (for the Ural owl) of up to at least twice their own weight. 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