A resident bird of Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. It’s met and breeds in forested areas, often adjacent to open areas and agricultural land, in tree clusters between agricultural areas, in orchards, in tree lines, big parks and conifer patches.
It’s strictly nocturnal, very hardly seen during daytime, usually it remains well hidden in dense trees or other densely covered spots. It becomes active after dark, when it hunts mainly rodents (mice, rats) and birds caught while roosting. The hunting methods it uses is either on perch or by flying and locating its prey, in both cases with a sudden swoop.
Its flight is relatively slow and relaxed and completely silent. It nests on old nests of other birds, mainly corvids, on trees. It’s one of the biggest owl species of Cyprus, with an upright, slender body, characteristic long ‘ear’ tufts and orange eyes. Its coloration is mainly brownish with stripes, with more reddish-beige mask and a white center, giving it an excellent cover when is perched among the trees.