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The Species of April 2014

2014.04_Asio otus

: Long-eared owl

Scientific name: Asio otus
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Asio


Medium-sized owl with basic colors gray and brown. In the upper part of the body and the wings the brown color is more intense, while in the lower part of the wings there are vertical white and dark lines and spots. It is smaller than other owls and is characterized by two tufts of feathers on the top of the head that look like ears. It has a crooked beak and nails.

It prefers tree trunks in forested areas but also dilapidated houses, abandoned nests of other birds, gardens and swamps. Its color is perfectly adapted to the hollows of the trees. It feeds on insects, small birds and mice.

Reproduction – Distribution
Males and females have the same appearance. The breeding season is from February to July. It lays 4-6 eggs. The incubation lasts 27-28 days with the care of the female while the male brings the food. The chicks at the age of 3-4 weeks leave the nest. It is a nocturnal bird that either lives permanently in Cyprus or visits it during migrations. In winter it moves further south and lives at all altitudes. It is very difficult for the human eye to see it. It lives and breeds in Europe, Asia and North America.

[1] http://el.wikipedia.org
[2] Βιβλίο «Πουλιά της Κύπρου» του Λουκά Χριστοφόρου
[3] Βιβλίο « Τα Πουλιά που Φωλιάζουν στην Κύπρο» Λούης Κουρτελλαρίδης – Πτηνολογικός Σύνδεσμος Κύπρου – Συγκρότημα Τράπεζας Κύπρου

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