European Eagle Owl - Bubo bubo - 'Tiksi'

European eagle owl, Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre

Tiksi is a young Eurasian Eagle Owl, bred and hand reared at the Centre in 2010.  He is a spectacular flier, but he is also prone to going on holiday visiting the local countryside, so we now only fly him in the barn where he is very happy.  When flown outside he can be very slow, and lazy, and as with most Eagle Owls, he will not put himself out for little reason!  Last Spring (2013) he toured the whole of Exmoor, seen in various places over the following six months, after first visiting a Residential Home in Minehead, and enjoying the splendours of a wedding from the top of the Church tower in Dunster!  Finally he was found rather bedraggled in Lynmouth, and we were pleased to have him home!  He is now destined to fly in the barn, or outside on a creance!

In the wild they require really small amounts of food to maintaint heir body weight, and their large size belies their dietary requirements.!

The largest females may weigh as much as 4kg, whereas the males are a lot smaller.  Our 'little' Tiksi weighs in at aroug 2kgs.!

These are majestic birds, and deserve the respect of good husbandry and an understanding of their natural behaviour.  In their natural environment Earasian Eagle Owls select a rocky outcrop for nesting and roosting, usually overloking clear mountain slopes below.  As they sit and wait for food, unsupecting prey below will suddently be attacked in a rapid silent swoop and pounce from above.  A large rabbit or hare may last the family for several days, during which time the parents will barely fly at all!

They will often defend very large territories of up to several square kilometers, and may take prey up to the size of a small roe der or as small as a sparrow.  As with most birds of prey territory size is dependent on food availability, but may be as much as 80 sq kms!

Sadly these huge birds often get caught in overhead power cables, that run across their wide open spaces in Europe, and this accounts for a large number of dead owls in the wild.

These owls are not recommended as 'pets' or even your 'first' owl - they can be very large, very strong, strong minded, and difficult to keep at 'home'.  Hundreds every eyar get 'lost' in the UK and should only be kept by experienced handlers.

European eagle owl, Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre