Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo)
The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is the largest of the "eared" or tufted owls with fully-feathered toes and one of only a few species of owls with orange eyes. [Too bad he was sleepy. I never got to see those orange eyes :(] The scientific name "bubo" is descriptive of the male's vocalizations.
The great size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females.
The Eurasian Eagle-Owl’s population declined significantly during the first half of the last century through persecution, disease, and poisoning. As a result of protection, re-introduction programs, and a change in food abundance, this owl’s population is recovering in Europe.
Eurasian Eagle-Owls favor rocky outcrops and cliffs in a variety of wooded habitats throughout much of Europe and Asia. This owl may also be found in open habitats that have some trees and rocky areas like taiga, farmlands, steppes, semi-arid areas, and grasslands.