Potentially Britain’s rarest breeding wildlife species, the Eagle Owl has successfully reared two Owlets in the Dunsop valley,Lancashire. The iconic species are widespread over most of Europe and are not included on the British species list even though wild birds have been producing young here for a good number of years now. The Eurasian Eagle Owl’s smaller cousins the Short and Long Eared Owls routinely migrate across the North Seain healthy numbers outside the breeding season and surely the body of water does not hold a barrier for the largest Owl species in the world.
Everything about these birds is admirable, their big orange eyes and round face which you can relate to so well. Their impressive size and power making them the kings of the owl world. Their elusive secretive nature making them a real life dark knight. I don’t understand how you can look at this bird and not appreciate it.
Eagle Owl photographed in the North Pennines
Here are examples of different views of the birds in its Eurasian stronghold range compared to the UK, starting in Helsinkias a pair of Eagle Owls live in the trendy and central forum building where they have their own paparazzi photographing their every move and are gracing the pages of the local newspapers almost every day. Passers by snap photos of them while they are out on the streets and security guards have had to save them from the adoring fans on a number of occasions. Their urban diet consists of Rabbits, crows and Gulls and the Helsinkian’s just cant get enough of them. They successfully reared three chicks in 2011 and there is a supposed seven breeding pairs in the area.
Two of the city owls (source: http://s.omakaupunki.hs.fi/news/images
There is also a much more famous Eagle Owl in Finland’s recent past, he was named Bubi and made headlines in the summer of 2007 when he invaded the Olympic stadium in the 17th minute of a Euro championship qualifier against Belgium and play was stopped for six minutes as the 30,000 strong crowd chant his finish name as the bird was unfazed flying low over the pitch with grace before perching on the Belgium crossbar. The game had been a lacklustre affair and some of the Finnish players quoted after the game that the Owls surprise appearance had helped inspire the team to victory. The Finnish Soccer team was promptly named the Eagle Owls and Bubi’s fame was cemented when he was named Helsinkicitizen of the year for 2007. Here is a must watch video of the events with current England manager Roy Hodgson in charge of Finland watching on, what would they make of him at Wembley!
Bubi in Action on the Soccer Pitch
Bubi Perched on Belgium Cross Bar
Now here is a couple of headlines from one of the UK’s leading newspapers the Daily Mail… ‘British Village terrified by giant Eagle Owl that swoops on children and small animals’ also ‘Lock up your pets! Dog owners warned as giant 6 foot Eagle Owl is spotted in Devon’. The media stories show a difference in mentality in the UK compared to across the continent. One of the problems is that some unaware brainwashed readers would actually take the Daily Mails headlines seriously. I have been fortunate enough to watch these birds in their natural environment and it should be a privilege to have these birds in Britain. Eagle was once a symbol of resurrection and Owl was related to death, What is the future of Britain’s Eagle Owls? Will they resurrect in our wild places or will they come to their death through human interventions such as greed, politics and money.
Full breeding success story – http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2012/08/08/bowland-eagle-owl-success-reported-by-world-owl-trust/
Helsinki’s favourite celebrity – http://africansinfinland.tdv.co/2011/04/helsinkis-favourite-celebrity-family-mom-dad-and-three-chicks/