When one man in Belgium, Jos Baart, heard a commotion going on outside his third-story apartment window, he assumed that it was just a bunch of pigeons having a scuffle. But when he went to have a peek, it turned out to be a trio of the Eurasian eagle-owl – Europe’s largest owl species!
And since they decided that they were going to move into the planter just outside Baart’s living room window, there have been some cute changes. Apparently, the birds got into watching TV. They have even joined him in marathoning his boxsets by peeping in through the living room window.
Baart even captured some video footage of the adorably large chicks peering over his shoulder to watch the TV. It was shared with the Dutch nature show Vroege Vogels. While the chicks are busy wanting to watch the TV, their mother is nearby, not that impressed with Baart or his television.
In the video that has been posted to Twitter, Baart explained that the mother often perches nearby to keep an eye on her chicks in their nest – often keeping her eye on things for up to six or eight hours a day.
Baart further explained that he first thought the noise outside his window was pigeons. However, when he saw the mother swooping in, he realized that it was something different. And upon checking, he discovered the trio. Since the family has taken up residence, he’s decided to change his living room set up a little bit – placing a chair as well as a kneeling pillow beside the window so he can watch the owls. He’ll even interact with them, occasionally running his finger across the window pane. The little baby owls even chase his hand – how cute is that?
In the video, Baart gestures to the birds outside his window, saying, “You can see how relaxed they are. They’re not scared at all. For me, it’s like watching a movie 24-7.”
These Eurasian eagle-owl babies will eventually grow up to be large, with wingspans up to five feet! The Eurasian eagle-owls can even have life spans of up to 20 years. As these little chicks begin to grow, the planter on Baart’s windowsill might get a little crowded. However, it’s not uncommon for the Eurasian eagle-owls to build their nests on high up edges with a sheer drop, like the sides of cliffs. More than likely, the chicks will continue to nest on the windowsill for another two months before flying away. But Baart is hoping that in the future the chicks might return to build nests of their own.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.