A lifer for me and fantastic views at dusk of a male Eagle Owl displaying, wow!
Male Eagle Owl
5 minutes after arriving the bird started calling and even a possible second bird was hear briefly in the distance. Not long after a group of Hooded Crows found the male and started attacking him so much that he flew off further away from us. The calls continued and eventually the crows left the area. Then finally the bird flew back towards the original trees giving us both in flight views and full out in the open views as he perched on some old oak trees.
Eagle Owl - Bubo bubo - Berguv
He stayed there for a good 10-15 minutes before flying over and landing on a metal tower behind us and yet again giving us some very impressive views in flight. What a big bird, no wonder they are called “EAGLE” Owls.
I haven’t been able to find out much information about this courtship display but never the less it’s pretty amazing to see.
Apparently the male has 14 different behaviors to attract the female, these are calls, flicks/splashes in the water and throwing their heads backwards as seen on the photos below.
The female then responds with up to 3 of these behaviors.
A male Goldeneye in all his glory - what a striking bird
The typical thrown head back display of the male
The male in the back trying to get the attention of the female who seems to have already picked her mate
A mid action shot, the feet and back arched down I guess to help throw the head backwards
1 of the 14 different displays, a splashing display behavior
And finally I managed to sort out the video from that day, can be view on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/DndoTtXWqWc or alternatively just press play below 🙂 You can press the “cog” button in the player to adjust the quality of the video, set at low quality by default