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Blakiston's Fish-Owl

Habitat preservation will help endangered fish-owls
© Robert TDC - FCC View Large

The Blakiston's Fish-Owl is the largest owl in the world. Compared with North America’s largest familiar owl, the Great Horned, the Blakiston's is six inches taller and nearly three times as heavy. No other owl approaches its prodigious girth. But the Blakiston's Fish-Owl is endangered. It's found only in wooded areas in the east of Japan's second-largest island, Hokkaido, and in small areas in adjacent Russia and China. Preservation of forest and river habitats in these regions will be crucial to the survival of this one-of-a-kind owl.   

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Blakiston's Owl — An Owl Fishes for Salmon
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Hooting sequence of Blakiston’s Fish-Owl]

These distinctive hoots signal the presence of a sumo wrestler of a bird. [Hooting]

It's Blakiston’s Fish-Owl. Blakiston’s, because its existence was recorded by the English naturalist, Thomas Blakiston. And Fish-Owl, because ... it hunts fish. Standing at the edge of a stream, sometimes in the shallows, it watches intently. Eyes fixed on the water. Then, with a sudden jump forward, wings upraised, it plunges its talons into a fish and pulls it onto the bank — sometimes, a fish as large as a salmon.  

This massive bird is the largest owl in the world. Tawny brown, a female Blakiston’s Fish-Owl is the larger of the sexes and may stand 28 inches tall, weighing in at over ten pounds. That's the same weight as a Bald Eagle. 

Compared with our largest familiar owl, the Great Horned, the Blakiston's is six inches taller and nearly three times as heavy. No other owl approaches its prodigious girth.

But the Blakiston's Fish-Owl is endangered. It's found only in wooded areas in the east of Japan's second-largest island, Hokkaido, and in small areas in adjacent Russia and China. 

Future preservation of forest and river habitats in these regions will be crucial to the survival of this one-of-a-kind owl.   [Hooting]

###

Blakiston's fish owl [1163700 recorded by David M. , Xeno-Canto.org 
Nature SFX Essentials #18 'Stream, Moderate' recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com 
BirdNote’s theme music composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black

© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org    March 2015/2016   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#             BLFIOW-01-2015-03-18 BLFIOW-01 

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