tuft (n) – a small bunch of hair or feathers.
prey (n) – an animal that is hunted by others for food.
hoot (v) – the low-pitched sound made by owls.
Hello! I am an eagle-owl. The eagle-owl is one of the largest owls in the world. When I spread my wings, it can be as long as the arm span of an adult human being!
I was born in a nest that was built by my parents. The nest was built high up on the side of a rocky cliff. My father told me it was for my safety. It would be difficult for predators to reach our nest. My mother took care of us when we were young, while father looked for food to feed us all.
You can tell an eagle-owl easily by the tuft of black feathers above its eyes. The tuft of feathers looks like mini wings but they do not help us to fly.
Eagle-owls usually only lay two eggs at a time. When I was born, I depended on my mother to protect me. My favourite food are mice and other small rodents like gerbils and hamsters. Sometimes my father brings home rabbits for dinner. They are yummy, too. Other eagle-owls have been known to even hunt deer.
Father usually hunts around sunrise or sunset. He does not hunt late in the night like some owls. He has very good eyesight and very good hearing. He will usually sit on top of a tall tree. Then he will look for his prey below. He also uses his ears to listen, but he prefers using his eyes to find his prey. Once he sees his prey, he will fly down to catch it.
We are quite good hooters! Male eagle-owls hoot to attract a mate. The hoots are so loud they can be heard far away. We also hoot loudly to show other eagle-owls that this is our area, and to tell them “don’t come into our area!”
When I was about four weeks old, my mother also hunted for food because I was growing quickly and needed to eat more. I needed to build my strength because in a few weeks, I would be taking my first flight.
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