It is widespread in Europe, Asia and in the Middle East. It can be found in different habitats, in forests, rocky areas alongside rivers where it can nest.
It is the largest owl, it’s main distinctive feature is its large, orange eyes. Its back feathers are rust-brown with blackish lines, its belly is yellowish. Its ear feathers are visible, its legs have feathers as well. With its crooked beak it tears its prey apart with ease. Females are larger. They are solitary birds. When ready to mate, they give out clucking sounds.
They mate with the same partner for their whole life. They are nocturnal animals, during the day they rest on trees. During periods when there is not enough food they hunt during the day as well. It is a real hunter, thanks to its outstanding eyesight and silent glide. Around its nest you can find the remnants of its preys. Interestingly, it is able to turn a hedgehog inside out.