The night is dark and full of terrors  and sometimes you just don't see them coming.


Nest cams have given us a remarkable window into the lives of birds and just when you think you've seen it all, another amazing clip swoops in. Captured by the Israel Raptor Nest Cam and posted to Facebook by renowned fish owl expert Jonathan Slaght, this unexpected fly-by is a predation attempt by a Eurasian eagle owl on a long-legged buzzard. 

Though the video doesn't do its size justice, the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubois one of the largest owls in the world its wingspan can reach an impressive six feet (about two metres)! The large birds usually feed on small mammals, but the species will eat just about anything it can get its talons into, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, and, yes, even the occasional bird. In some coastal areas, the owls have been known to feed mainly on ducks and seabirds.

Like the rest of their kin, the owls are almost silent in flight thanks to the shape of the wing feathers. Combine that with a flight pattern similar to that of soaring birds like the red-tailed hawk, and you have one skilled hunter.

More impressive still, the birds' lifespans are thought to be over 20 years in the wild, and more than 60 in captivity.

For more eagle owl action, check out the video below (but be warned: this one is not for sensitive viewers).


Top header image: M Kuhn/Flickr