Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.26(2). (2018) p.243-253.

Influence of the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) on the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) population in Germany
Martin Lindner

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In Germany, the Eagle Owl is the only animal species that has a massive impact on the distribution and breeding success of the Peregrine Falcon. Both species compete for the same breeding sites on rocks. In addition, the Peregrine Falcon belongs to the prey spectrum of the Eagle Owl. The Eagle Owl always dominates at places where the two species meet. Since the 1980s, the Eagle Owl has taken over many of the rock face breeding sites of the Peregrine Falcon in Germany. This trend towards the taking-over of Peregrine Falcon nesting sites is ongoing in areas with rocks, as not all regions of Germany have yet been completely colonized by Eagle Owls. Since 1975, the Eagle Owl initially nested on buildings in rural areas, but it is now also colonizing urban areas. Eagle Owls are more and more frequently taking over Peregrine Falcon nest boxes on buildings. The currently growing Peregrine Falcon breeding population on buildings is expected to decline in coming years due to predation by the Eagle Owl, even though these owls do not breed very successfully on buildings and many old and young owls are killed. These statements apply to large parts of Germany. In other areas of Europe, the future usage of buildings as Eagle Owl breeding sites can be expected to have an impact on the Peregrine Falcon populations there. At least eight other Peregrine Falcon breeding sites on buildings and rocks have been taken over by Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca).