Active from dusk until dawn
Nourished mainly from small rodents, birds, and reptiles but can also prey upon larger animals, such as chickens, deer, and fox
Habitat destruction,collection of eggs and chicks
Females are larger than males
In Israel, there are two sub-species: the northern and the desert, which differ in size, color, and of course, geographic habitat.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is the largest nocturnal predator (in the aves - birds class) in Israel, and it’s one of the largest in the world. Couples mate for life. The adults do not have natural enemies, however habitat destruction by humans has harmed the population. In Europe, there have been attempts to return these owls to the wild, from the areas from which they have disappeared.
The fringes above its eyes are not ears, although they do aid in focusing sounds toward the ears, which are hidden behind the feathers of its head. Hearing is the central sense for the owl, which is active in the dark, and hearing is used in communication between individuals and for capturing its prey.
The Frey Veterinary Hospital at the Biblical Zoo serves as a center for rehabilitating injured birds of prey. The most common injuries among birds of prey include secondary poisoning (when they prey upon poisoned animals), electrocution from high voltage lines, illegal hunting, and others. The injured birds are collected from the wild and transferred to the zoo by representatives of the Nature and Parks Authority. These birds receive veterinary treatment and housing until they are fully recovered. Once a bird of prey has recovered its strength, it is returned to the wild. In instances where the bird is unable to return to the wild and rehabilitate, because of the severity of its injury, the zoo team works to find it an appropriate home, such as this Eurasian eagle-owl exhibit. At the zoo, there are several individuals which have been injured in the wild, but because of their various bodily injuries, they were unable to be returned. Therefore, we built a special exhibit for these owls with support from the Zoo Friends.