Mr. Hoots is a 26 year old Eurasian Eagle Owl. In 1999, a New York Falconer and Bob Nixon (ECC Co-Chairman) met at the Falconry Center and Mr. Hoots was donated to the Earth Conservation Corps.
The Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle-owl that resides in much of Eurosiberia. It is also called the European eagle-owl and in Europe, it is occasionally abbreviated to just eagle-owl. It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 75 cm (30 in), with a wingspan of 188 cm (6 ft 2 in), males being slightly smaller. This bird has distinctive ear tufts, with upper parts that are mottled with darker blackish colouring and tawny. The wings and tail are barred. The underparts are a variably hued buff, streaked with darker colour. The facial disc is not very visible and the orange eyes are distinctive.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is one of the largest living species of owl as well as one of the most widely distributed. The Eurasian eagle-owl is found in many habitats but is mostly a bird of mountain regions, coniferous forests, steppes and other relatively remote places. It is a mostly nocturnal predator, hunting for a range of different prey species, predominantly small mammals but also birds of varying sizes, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects and other assorted invertebrates. It typically breeds on cliff ledges, in gullies, among rocks or in other concealed locations. The nest is a scrape in which averages of two eggs are laid at intervals. These hatch at different times. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young, and the male provides food for her and, when they hatch, for the nestlings as well. Continuing parental care for the young is provided by both adults for about five months. There are at least a dozen subspecies of Eurasian eagle-owl.
With a total range in Europe and Asia of about 32 million square kilometres (12 million square miles) and a total population estimated to be between 250 thousand and 2.5 million, the IUCN lists the bird's conservation status as being of “least concern". The vast majority of eagle-owls live in mainland Europe, Russia and Central Asia, and an estimated number of between 12 and 40 pairs are thought to reside in the United Kingdom as of 2016, a number which may be on the rise. Tame eagle-owls have occasionally been used in pest control because of their size to deter large birds such as gulls from nesting.
We'd love to give exposure to many more students in the DC area. Having young students engage in wildlife and understanding the nature of our birds would be great. Here's how you can help:
- Sponsor a school for a field trip
- Give to a monthly plan in support of our birds
- Purchase materials in the up keep on our list
- Give a one-time donation as a feeder, comforter, provider or nester
Our two-year plan is to help each school in the DC area take part in wildlife conservation. We'd like to visit every school in the area before expanding to the DMV area as a whole.
That's a lot of schools and a ton of kids to engage. We are really going to need the communities assistance in getting this accomplished.