Ural owl

Ural owl


It lives in mixed and coniferous forests of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the eastern coast of Asia and Japan. It is very rare in Poland, in the mountains of the south-eastern part of the country – its number is estimated at 750-1000 pairs.


It is usually nocturnal, but can be active during the day. It is a sedentary species and not shy. During the breeding season, the female can be very aggressive. The first warning is a snapping of its beak, after which it attacks the intruder with its sharp talons.


It hunts mainly small mammals. Less often, small reptiles, amphibians and birds. Attacks on smaller species of owls and small cats have also been reported.


Ural owls mate in autumn and usually for life. They can nestin abandoned nests of birds of prey, in tree cavities, even in hunting stands. The female lays 2-4 eggs, which she incubates herself.


It is a large owl, with a wingspan of approximately 1.3 m. The ural owl is under strict protection in Poland and photography and filming is prohibited. The owl’s characteristic feature is its black eyes contrasting with gray eyes. No sexual dimorphism.

  • Latin name: Strix uralensis
  • IUCN Red List – LC – Least Concern
  • CITES – Appendix II
  • EEP – Species in European Endangered Species Programme

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