A rare species of owl has been sighted near the city of Tuyserkan, in Hamedan province, west of Iran, a senior official at Department of Environment (DoE) said.
Mehdi Safikhani, a deputy director at DoE’s provincial office, said the initial surveys of the images captured from the bird suggest it is a ‘tawny owl’ or strix aluco – a rare species which had not been observed in the country.
The rare species is a stocky, medium-sized owl commonly found in woodlands across much of Eurasia. Its underparts are pale with dark streaks, and the upperparts are either brown or grey. This owl is non-migratory and highly territorial.
Safikhani noted that the nocturnal bird of prey hunts mainly rodents as well as a large proportion of small birds in urban areas and is of great ecologic importance.