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a genus of birds of the order Strigiformes (owls). There are 12 species, distributed in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and America. Three species are found in the USSR. The tawny owl (Strix aluco), which is 41–46 cm long and weighs 0.45–0.68 kg, inhabits forests and parks in the central zone, on the southern Russian plain, in southwestern Siberia, in the Caucasus, and in the mountains of Middle Asia. The Ural owl (S. uralensis) measures 50–58 cm long and weighs 0.56–0.95 kg. The great, or Lapp, owl (S. nebulosa) has a body length of about 65 cm and weighs 0.7–1.2 kg. The Ural and great owls inhabit coniferous forests of the Russian plain, Siberia, and the Far East.
The owls make irregular migrations in the winter. They nest in tree hollows and in the former nests of magpies, crows, and other birds; sometimes they nest on the ground. There are three or four white eggs per clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about one month; both parents feed the nestlings. The owls feed primarily on murid rodents and, less frequently, on other birds, frogs, lizards, or insects.