Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Adopt A Bird spotlight: Xena (Eurasian Eagle Owl)

Xena's Story

Species: Eurasian Eagle Owl
Hatched: 3/18/99

Xena, whose parents are K.C. and Sailor, was hatched at the World Bird Sanctuary's Breeding Facility in Valley Park, Missouri. She was carefully raised and trained by our staff to be part of our Education Department, whose goal is to educate people about the owl species of the world and what an amazing part of the environment they are!

Xena's travels have taken her to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Grants Farm, where she spent the summer of 2000, and hundreds of towns throughout the midwest. Her most amazing journey was to California, where she appeared with Executive Director Walter Crawford and Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, on the Rainbird float in the 2002 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Xena's majestic appearance and calm nature have made her the perfect feature for our annual "Christmas is for the Birds" photo op for the past four years. She sits calmly on our Woodland Santa's glove for photos with children of all ages during this special event.

To adopt Xena, simply click our donation button, make a donation of $150 and specify in your payment notes: Adopt-a-bird: XENA. Also include your name, phone number, and mailing address so that we can send you your adoption materials!

Every donation helps to feed, house, and provide medical care for the bird of your choice! Adopt-A-Bird Parents Receive:
  • *A personal visit with the bird you adopt!!!!! Call 636-861-3225 to set up a time for
  • your personal visit.
  • * Certificate of Adoption
  • * Color photo of the bird you've adopted
  • * Sponsorship Card
  • * One year's subscription to Mews News (our quarterly newsletter)
  • * Life History and Natural History of the bird
  • * 10% Discount off WBS merchandise
  • * Invitation to Sponsors-only events like Camera Day
  • * Discounts on WBS Special Events
  • * WBS Decal

Natural History

Eurasian eagle owl
Bubo Bubo

Description similar to the great horned owl, but much larger; prominent ear tufts are usually laid back; streaked breast, mottled brownish feathers; some have orangish-brown feathers on the face, underparts, wings, and back; orange-yellow or deep fiery orange eyes; adults and juveniles similar in appearance

Sex: coloration the same for both sexes; females larger than males; call of the female is slightly higher pitched than the male’s

Age: once past first year, into the 20’s in the wild; recorded into their 60’s in captivity

Length: 24-30”

Wingspan: 5-7’

Weight: 3,5-9 lbs.

Habitat: rocky outcrops and coniferous forests; hunt in open plains areas; warm deserts; can be found in taiga, farmlands, steppes, semi-arid areas, grasslands

Status: never common; can be considered rare and locally endangered; have been shot and trapped extensively; affected by deforestation

Range: northern Europe through Asia and into northern Africa

Behavior: nests are shallow depressions scratched out on rock ledges or in caves; lay 1-4 eggs at 3-day intervals from the end of February to the end of April, depending on food supply; the female does the majority of the incubating for 31-36 days, while the male hunts; the chicks fledge at 7-8 weeks, but are cared for by the parents for 20-24 weeks; if the next is on the ground they may fledge earlier; swoop down on prey when hunting; can catch prey from the air or the ground, or may be seen plunging into water

Diet: medium sized mammals and birds, like opossums, hares, foxes, ducks, quail, and pheasant; also eat insects and small rodents; roe deer fawns; coastal residents may feed mainly on ducks and seabirds

Vocalization: long, booming “oo-hoooh”; females sometimes make a coarse “kraah” sound during mating season; chicks make the “kraah” sound as well; when threatened they may bark and growl

√ Eurasian eagle owls are the largest owls in the world and have no real predators except electrocution, collision with traffic and shooting

Adopt A Bird profiles are written and photographed by Gay Schroer.

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