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Ural Owl - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Pasha
Novosibirsk, Russia, 27 June 2005

Includes Pere David's Owl = Sichuan Wood-Owl

Strix uralensis


Length: 50–62 cm (19¾-24½ in); wingspan: 95–134 cm (37½-52¾ in); weight: male 500–950 g, female 570–1300 g.

  • Pale, buff grey-brown plumage
  • Dark brown streaking on back, back of the head and underparts
  • Round head
  • Plain buff-grey facial disc
  • Orange-yellow bill
  • Small black eyes
  • Long wedge-shaped tail
  • Dark barring on the uppertail
  • Rounded wings

Sexes are similar, with no seasonal variation


From Japan and Korea in the east to Scandinavia and eastern central Europe in the west.


Subspecies davidi was formerly considered a full species, Pere David's Owl, but research has reported that both plumage and vocalizations are largely overlapping.


Newly fledged. Photo © by Szabi
Zemplén Hills, Hungary, 27 May 2004

This is a polytypic species; eight subspecies are recognized.[1].

  • S. u. liturata:
  • S. u. uralensis:
  • Eastern European Russia to Sea of Okhotsk
  • S. u. macroura:
  • Carpathian Mountains to Bulgaria and western Balkans
  • S. u. yenisseensis:
  • Central Siberian plateau
  • S. u. nikolskii:
  • Transbaikalia to Sakhalin, north-eastern China and Korea
  • S. u. japonica:
  • Hokkaido (northern Japan)
  • S. u. hondoensis:
  • Northern and central Honshu (Japan)
  • S. u. fuscescens:
  • Southern Honshu south to Kyushu (Japan)
Subspecies davidi = Pere David's Owl
Photo by RonMac
Presumably from Sichuan, China, 2 August 2016
  • S. u. davidi
  • Mountains of central China (southeast Qinghai and Sichuan)


Forests with openings, ranging from mostly coniferous in the north to beach in south. Quite often in areas near birch or alder swamps. In central Europe only in mountains .



Photo © by Bobby65
Dalarna, Sweden, June 1997

They nest in hollow tree trunks. The 2-4 eggs are incubated for 27-34 days. The young leave the nest after about four weeks, but will not fly until about six weeks old. The attending parent has been known to attack humans approaching too closely.


Mostly active at dawn and dusk with some activity at night; in northern areas also active at day during time of feeding of young. The diet constitutes mainly rodents, supplemented with medium-sized birds such as Jays, Hazel Grouse, and Woodpigeon as needed.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. König, C. and F. Weick 2008. Owls of the World, second edition. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 978-0-7136-6548-2
  4. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, May 20). Ural owl. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:28, May 21, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ural_owl&oldid=897929901
  5. Brazil, M. (2018). Birds of Japan. Helm, London. ISBN 978-1-4729-1386-9
  6. Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L. & Marks, J.S. (2017). Ural Owl (Strix uralensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/55042 on 26 June 2017).

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