Western Siberian Eagle owl

Bubo bubo sibiricus

A portrait of a Siberian Eagle Owl at Hellabrunn Zoo. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    True owls (Strigidae)
  • Weight
    ♀ 2,5 – 3 kg, ♂ 2 – 2,5 kg
  • Habitat
    Mountain foothills, steppes, grass- and bushlands

Silent hunter

Western Siberian eagle owls have specially adapted wings that enable noiseless flight. They can glide through the night sky searching for prey without making a sound. Their incredible stealth is due to their soft, dense plumage that absorbs sound, and the feathery fringes on each wing that silence the turbulence created in flight.

Deadly claws

Like all owl species, the Western Siberian eagle owl has a reversible fourth toe that it can point forwards or backwards as required. This allows it to increase its claw span – to the size of a human hand – when catching prey. Owls do not kill with their beaks. Instead they use their razor-sharp talons to crush their victims such as rabbits or birds. For this reason they are sometimes called “grasp killers”.

Western Siberian eagle owls typically lay their eggs in rock crevices or caves, or in the abandoned nests of other large birds.