Tengmalm’s Owl (Aegolius funerus)

Tengmalm’s Owl (Aegolius funerus) (Photo: Nikos Petrou)

The Tengmalm’s Owl is a small, nocturnal, forest-dwelling bird of prey. The species inhabits pine and fir forests with old trees, at altitudes of up to 1,600 metres and it is often encountered at the edges of glades. It is dependent on the availability of small mammals and favourable nesting sites. Widespread in northern Europe, it occurs more patchily further south. In Greece it is a very rare resident, reported only from seven localities.

The Greek population is considered rear-edge, covering the southernmost part of the species’ distribution. In Mt. Oiti, it has been recorded (Peus 1954) in high-altitude fir and black pine forests. After 1954, there exists only one other, very recent record; one bird was observed in 2010, at 1800 metres (A. Hristopoulos, Journal “I FYSI”, April-June 2011).

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