Monday, 23 January 2012

Owls of Luxembourg

Luxembourg Post issued the fauna stamp series feature owls species on March 8, 1999. The issue stamps composed of three postage stamps depicts Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Eagle Owl with different nominal face value.

The Tawny Owl (strix aluco)
The Tawny Owl is certainly the most frequent owl in  regions of Luxembourg.The tawny owl is nocturnal so it is often heard calling at night, but much less often seen. In the daytime, you may see one only if you disturb it inadvertently from its roost site in woodland up against a tree trunk or among ivy. It breeds in mixed woodlands as well as in urban parks.
The Tawny Owl is an owl the size of a pigeon. The distinctive of this bird are  a rounded body and head, with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding the dark eyes. It is mainly reddish brown above and paler underneath. 

The Tawny Owl feeds Small mammals and rodents, small birds, frogs, fish, insects and worms . Its voice is a classic melodious hoot, often heard in horror films at the nearby cemetery. To hear the male and female calling during springtime in a shallow night is an outstanding experience for everybody.

The Eagle Owl (bubo bubo)
The Eagle owl or bubo bubo is the largest of Luxembourg’s owls and one of the largest birds of Europe. At the end of the last century, the eagle owl was extinct by man. Nowadays, its recolonizing Luxembourg’s regions. Several pairs now breed in rock crevices and in large forests. Eagle owls are very difficult to locate and you must be very lucky for seeing one.
The Eagle Owl is largely nocturnal and is usually found nesting on cliff ledges.

The Eagle Owl can live for 20 years in the wild although like many other bird species in captivity they can live much longer, perhaps up to 60 years.

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
The Barn Owls or Tyto alba are  medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long, strong legs with powerful talons.With its whitish under-parts and vermiculated yellowish-brown upper-parts, the barn owl is rather unmistakable.

The Barn Owls often nest in barns, old farmhouses and churches, but only if these are not gritted to hold domestic pigeons away. 

One could easily help barn owls in offering them nest boxes. Barn owls largely feed on small mammals.
The Barn Owls lives    in a wide range of habitat  from deserts to forests, and from temperate latitudes to the tropics.The barn-owls are mostly nocturnal, and generally non-migratory, living in pairs or singly.

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