By Geraldine Lebourgeois
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“Here is the discovery of a new corpse! Against all appearances, this announcement is good news in the world of ornithology. the September 11, 2022the GONm (Groupe ornithologique normand) shared this information online: “The great horned owl continues to grow in Normandy and “a new corpse” was discovered in the Department of Sleeve.
“The largest nocturnal bird of prey”
“After three corpses discovered a few years ago” Seine Maritimeand the successful nesting last year in this same department, ornithologists see in the fourth corpse the confirmation of the expansion of the presence of the species in France. It was discovered in a quarry in the Val de Saire. This is the only location precision communicated “in order to keep a certain discretion” and leave in peace this “species with high heritage value”, comments James Jean-Baptiste, for the GONm.
However, everyone is invited to familiarize themselves with the song of the Eagle Owl and to report it in the event of observation or listening to help the experts in their monitoring of this nocturnal raptor.
“The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is the largest nocturnal bird of prey. The upperparts of the body are black-brown and buff, showing a cloud of blotches on the forehead and crown, stripes on the nape, sides and hindneck, and black mottling on the pale back, mantle and scapulars (N.DL.R., feathers at the base of the wing). A narrow, brown-spotted buff band extends from the base of the beak to above the inner part of the eyes and along the brown-black edge of the ear tufts. »
Victim of a gunshot?
The animal is very mimetic, and you have to have a very good eye to discern it in its habitat with which it blends.
The specimen found dead in the Val de Saire is “a beautiful beast”, testifies James Jean-Baptiste. 4 year old male, this owl was discovered in poor condition by a walker. It was recovered by the French Office for Biodiversity for better authentication and analyses, which will make it possible to verify whether this mythical bird has not been the victim of a shot…
At 5 years old, an Eurasian Eagle-Owl reaches the age of maturity, which means that the individuals that deploy in Normandy are able to reproduce. This is great news and a major novelty in the English Channel where the species has never been observed for 150 yearssince ornithological surveys have been made.
A nocturnal hunter
The Eagle Owl chooses rock walls, cliffs, rocky environments to settle, even wooded environments. In any case, it gains ground when it finds food-rich environments. He night hunt and until dawn. “It eats everything: rats, coypus, hedgehogs, rabbits, foxes… It can also hunt other birds, such as herons or hawks. It is at the top of the food chain. He will also not deprive himself of a beetle, a lizard and even a fish or a crab.
Adult, the Eagle Owl measures on average 75 centimeters, for a wingspan of 160 to 188 centimeters (the height of a man) and a weight which can go beyond four kilos.
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