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  • Thor and others

    European Eagle Owls
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    European Eagle Owl Bubo bubo  - Thor


    Thor was born at the refuge in 1990 and hand reared by Pam when it was situated in Etton. His Mum and Dad, Heidi and Hugo are also still here as well and they are now in their 40’s.

    Thor is an excellent ambassador for the charity and usually goes out most weeks of the year with Sandy and various other owls to highlight the work we do here, and to raise funds for the sanctuary. Thor likes having his chest stroked and the attention he is given by the public.

    The Refuge currently houses 8 European Eagle Owls. Their diet consists of dead chicks, rabbits, mice and rats. 


    European Eagle Owls are large and powerful birds, females can weigh up to 10 lbs, in comparison the Barn owl is about 1.1 lbs. Their great size, ear tufts and orange eyes make them very distinctive. They are nocturnal and can live for up to 20 years in the wild, though like many birds, in captivity they can live for much longer, even up to 60 years. As adults they have no natural predators and are therefore considered to be apex predators. Man made causes of death include electrocution, road accidents and shootings.

    European Eagle Owls have a strong direct flight, usually consisting of shallow wing beats and long, fast glides. It has also, unusually for an owl been known to soar on updrafts.

    They are distributed sparsely in Europe through a wide range of habitats ranging from forests to vast desert edges, though they do seem to favour rocky areas.

    The female lays one clutch of 1-6 white eggs per year.

    Did you know that the female owl alone incubates the eggs and will sit on these for 36 days, during this time she will be fed by her mate. Once the chicks begin to hatch the male still continues to bring all of the food to the nest for the next 2-3 weeks.