Boreal owl

The Boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) is a little owl that, in France, lives in the mountains. It can be observed in particular in the Aigoual massif.

The bird is brown with white flecking, and had beautiful yellow eyes encircled by black, which give it a “surprised” appearance.

It is very difficult to see this species, but it is possible to hear the males singing as early as the end of winter, at night.

The Boreal owl is a typically coniferous forest-living species. It lives in old-growth forests, where there are tree cavities where it can nest. This bird can use natural cavities but, most of the time, it reuses a former nest hole dug by a black woodpecker.

The Boreal owl feeds mainly on little mammals (mice and voles), and rarely catches birds or insects.

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aegolius-funereus-001.jpg

Boreal owl

 

pic noir

The Black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) is the biggest european woodpecker. Its plumage is entirely black apart from a red crown. The black woodpecker digs holes in trees to create nesting chambers for itself, but these excavations also provides later homes for many other species of birds and mammals – and especially for the boreal owl! That’s why the black woodpecker is considered to be a “keystone” species!

 

 

 

Photos: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aegolius-funereus-001.jpg and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlackWoods.jpg