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Considered to be one of the largest owls in the world, the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) is an impressive and majestic bird, with distinctive, prominent ear-tufts, a barrel-shaped body, and vivid orange eyes. The Eurasian eagle owl’s plumage is buffy-brown and heavily mottled and streaked with black, with paler underparts and fine barring on the belly and flanks. The wings and tail are marked with dark bars. The throat is white and is used in intraspecific communication, as a visual signal associated with vocal displays. The Eurasian eagle owl’s ‘facial disc’, the flat or concave arrangement of feathers on the face which is typical of owls, is greyish, and is less developed than in many other owl species. The beak is black, and the legs and large, powerful toes are covered with buffy-white feathers. The Eurasian eagle owl is quite variable in appearance across its range, with a number of subspecies recognised, which differ in size, colouration, and the strength of the dark markings. The juvenile Eurasian eagle owl can be recognised by its rudimentary ear-tufts, narrowly barred underparts, and buffy down on the head. The distinctive call of the Eurasian eagle owl is a deep, booming ‘ooo-hu’, while other vocalisations include a quiet, guttural chuckling, and a bark-like scream given by the female. The Eurasian eagle owl preys on mammals up to the size of hares or young deer, and will also take large birds such as herons and buzzards. Captive Eurasian eagle owls have been known to live for up to 60 years. 

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