These birds have a length of 58cm to 75cm with wingspans reaching up to 200cm. The weight of these birds can range from 1.75kg to 4.2kg.
Habitat and Distribution.
These birds are often found in mountainous areas living in woodland and along the fringes of farmland and open grassland. They can be found across almost all of Europe with the exception of the UK and some northern parts of France, also spreading across through central Asia and Southern Russia.
These owls have an average lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
The diet of this owl is fairly varied taking birds, reptiles and even large invertebrates when they must. However their main diet consists of small to medium sized mammals.
Groups and Breeding.
For most of the year these are solitary birds, however during breeding season once the female is suitably impressed with the males courtship display the male will help the female feed during the incubation of her 1 to 4 eggs which may take 2 to 3 months. After this the male will also help her feed the young until they fledge.
These birds do not suffer from many threats as they are protected from hunting, and adapt fairly well to moving their territory when disturbed by humans. However with this habitat destruction going on to further extremes these birds are starting to run out of places to move to, meaning that their numbers are declining, however very slowly.
The Centre for the Conservation of Specialised Species claimed in 2002 to have worked with one of these owls until the age of 64 years making this bird 44 years older than the highest range of their average age.