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Ural owl


The Ural owl is an eastern species found in Scandinavia but not in other parts of Western Europe. In Finland, they breed all over the country except the northernmost parts of Lapland and Åland. They feed mainly on small rodents, but also on other small mammals, birds and frogs. The Ural owl prefers old conifer and mixed forests as habitat. They like to nest in hollow tree trunks, but also accept twig nests of birds of prey and nest boxes. The Ural owl is known to ferociously defend their nest when threatened.


The Ural owl is a protected species by law.


The Ural Owl is a non-migratory species, preferring to stay in the same region winter and summer, year after year. Their adaptation to the arctic winter is good; however, their distribution doesn’t extend to the northernmost part of Lapland.

Ural owl

Strix uralensis

Class: Aves – Birds

Order: Strigiformes – Owls

Family: Strigidae – Owls

Size: Weight: 450-1020g, wingspan: 125-135cm, females larger than males.

Breeding: Female lays 3-4 eggs March-April, incubation period: 31-34 days and nights.

Lifespan: According to ringing data, the oldest Ural owl has lived to 24 years of age.

Did you know…

Did you know, that the current efficient forestry in Finland diminishes the nesting spots of the Ural owl? The old, hollow tree trunks struck to pieces by storms in the woods disappear. The plight concerns other bird species too. Fortunately, nowadays humans provide nest boxes in the woods and other areas of the country as well.