World’s biggest owl depends on large old trees

Blakiston fish owl (Bubo Blakistoni)

The Blakiston fish owl (Bubo Blakistoni) is the world’s largest — and one of the rarest — owl species, with an impressive 6 foot (2 meter) wingspan. The giant owl, found exclusively in northeast Asia, shares its habitat with a menagerie of endangered and impressive animals, including Amur tigers, Amur leopards, Asiatic black bears and wild boars. Now, a recent study in Oryx, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has discovered that these owls rely on threatened old trees for nesting and foraging sites.

In Primorye, Russia, a research team headed by Jonathan Slaght with the WCS and the University of Minnesota, looked at 20,213 square kilometers of forest and found that owl nesting sites are usually within old, large trees — such as Japanese poplars, chosenia and cork bark elms. The nesting sites are all located along streams — which are also the habitat for the owl’s primary food source, salmon. This means Blakiston’s fish owl is entirely dependent on riparian forests, which refers to the banks along a water source or the interface between water and land.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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  1. World’s largest owl, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog - September 10, 2013

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