Classe: Uccelli (Aves)
Dimensions: length 38 cm, wingspan 94-104 cm.
Life: 18 years
Habitat: where woodlands and open spaces alternate, up to 1,600 meters of altitude.
Diet: above all small rodents and birds, but also amphibians, reptiles, and insects.
Reproduction: the mating season goes from January to March. In this period, the male attracts the female with his call, offering her food and taking her to places suitable for laying eggs. This nocturnal bird of prey lays its eggs in the holes of the trees or of the earth, without building a nest. 2-3 eggs are laid within April.
Cubs: born after a month of incubation, during the first weeks of life they must be fed and protected from the cold. When they begin to walk, they wander around the nest and are often welcomed by man, who often thinks they have been abandoned. They learn to fly after about a month, but live with their parents for three months, during which they become self-sufficient.
Curiosities: it has all-black eyes and no ear tufts.
Notes: this nocturnal bird of prey lies in ambush when hunting, by taking advantage of the feeble light of dawn and twilight. Standing on a perch, it waits motionless for its prey, and then silently pounces on it with outstretched talons. It swallows the small mammals on which it lives. When it captures birds, instead, it stops on a perch and plucks them.
In the Park: widespread in the whole territory and in the adjacent areas.
(photo by Marco Dal Pont)