Ural owl: where to find it in Italy, nutrition, habitat, reproduction, verse and things to know about the Strix uralensis species.
L'Ural owl(Strix uralensis) is a nocturnal bird of prey from the Strigidae family. It is widespread in North Eastern Europe but, with patient research, it can also be seen here in Italy.
Ural owl: size and characteristics
Dimensions: has a wingspan between 105 and 116 cm. A weight that can oscillate between 500 and 1,300 g and a length of about 60 cm.
There is no sexual dimorphism: male and female have the same plumage. Generally the male tends to be smaller and lighter than the female.
From an inexperienced eye it can be confused with the common tawny owl, what are the differences? L'Ural owlit has a longer tail and light discs, moreover, due to its plumage it is considered one of the most elegant species, thanks to the characteristic tuft of feathers that surrounds the head and neck.
There are several subspecies: the subspecieslituratedit is present in the occupied area of the former Soviet Union up to Western Siberia, Poland and Belarus. In central Europe, including Italy, the subspecies is presentmacroura.
According to the classification of the International Ornithological Congress, the two subspecies mentioned are not the only ones. A paler plumage subspecies living in Russia is known as Strix uralensisPallas uralensis, another subspecies with a characteristic plumage is Strix uralensis fuscescens.
Ural owl: nutrition and behavior
The diet of thisowlit is mainly based on small mammals (rodents, voles, shrews of the genus Sorex…) which are abundant in its natural habitat. L'Ural owlit also captures and feeds on birds (small blackbirds, pigeons, jays…) and amphibians. The power supply offoolsit is very varied: in the event of famine, the Ural owl does not spare itself and can even prey on near country houses.
Its temperament is slightly aggressive: it can also attack other birds of prey and can also become aggressive towards humans who approach its nest.
Ural owl: reproduction and nest
The speciesStrix uralensisprepare yoursnestin tree cavities or by exploitingabandoned nestsof othersraptors. Generally the nest has a height from the ground between 4 and 20 meters.
Thisbird of preycan do thenestin the crevices of rocks, in the soil of steep slopes, among the roots of trees that grow on steep soils ... In the nest it lays 3 - 4 eggs, and thenestingtakes place only once a year.
Hatching (incubation) lasts 27-29 days. It is performed exclusively by the female (as opposed to what happens with herons and other water birds) while the male hunts for food. If the male procures food, it is the female who is responsible for managing the resources and distributing the food among the hatchlings.
The chicks leave the nest after a month but learn to fly only after 5 weeks, returning, from time to time, to sleep in the nest. They become independent after 45 days.
In the years of famine, theural owlit does not reproduce or can only carry a chick.
Ural owl in Italy
Where does the Ural owl live? In dense forests, both in mountainous and flat areas, it settles mainly in places rich in rodents.
Unlike theowlcommon (Strix aluco), very present in Italy, theUral owlin our country it can only be found in the far north, especially on the eastern Italian side. Thereblockade of the Urals in Italy it breeds only since 1994, the first nests have been observed in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Sites in the Piedmont, Veneto and Trentino regions were highlighted.
Italy,Ural owlit finds its habitat in the north-eastern alpine and pre-alpine forests that offer an environment similar to that proposed by neighboring Slovenia.
In the photo above, at the top of the page, it is shown how a owl of the uralin its juvenile form, about 6 weeks after hatching. The photo below shows an adult, with its characteristic plumage.
How long does the Ural owl live?
The longevity of this bird is estimated to be around 15 years in the wild while when bred incaptivity, can live up to 25 years.
The deforestation that is taking place in eastern Europe may be a threat to the survival of this species. Despite this warning, the Ural owl is considered a "Minimal Risk" species.
Ural owl: verse
Histoit is similar to that of the common tawny but is slightly more acute. It can also produce different sounds, especially in the mating season and if it feels threatened.
Differences between the Ural owl and the Italian owl or common owl: as stated, the owlStrix uralensisit is much larger than the common tawny owl. Furthermore, the coloring of the plumage differs even if the similarities between the various subspecies could be many.
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