Man's TV Viewing Joined By A Brood Of Europe's Largest Owl Nesting In Third-Story Planter

The large eyes of a Eurasion Eagle owl chick, all the better to watch Seinfeld reruns with. Nannycz/Shutterstock

A kerfuffle outside one Belgium man’s living room window, which was thought to be from some problematic pigeons, turned out to be a brood of Europe’s largest owl, the Eurasian eagle-owl. The three new arrivals set up shop in an apartment planter outside Jos Baart’s third-story apartment. Since their arrival, the curious birds have taken a shine to Baart’s television, joining him on his box-set marathons by peering through the window.

Video footage of the TV-hungry chicks shared on the Dutch nature show Vroege Vogels shows the enormous chicks standing to attention, trying to catch a glimpse of the television over Baart’s shoulder. While the kids pour over the channels, their mother can be seen a little further back minding her chicks from a nearby shrub and giving Baart a less than approving stare. She doesn’t seem to be as keen on technology as her offspring.

“She has a good view of the nest from there,” Baart explains in the video, which has been posted to Twitter. “She can stay there for six to eight hours at a stretch.”

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He goes on to explain that he first thought the scrabbling at the window was caused by pigeons but after catching sight of the mother taking flight from his window he realized he had some new tenants on his hands. Since the arrival of the curious brood, Baart has set up a chair and has a kneeling pillow at the ready so he can view the birds and even interact with them, running his finger along the window pane as they track his hand as if it were a scuttling mouse. 

“You can see how relaxed they are,” Baart says in the footage, gesturing to the birds who have presumably grown accustomed to his presence since hatching outside the window. “They’re not scared at all. For me, it’s like watching a movie 24-7.”

Eurasian eagle-owls are one of the largest in Europe and can live for up to 20 years in the wild, growing to boast a wingspan of more than 1.5 meters (5 feet). While conditions might get a little cramped for the chicks in a windowsill planter as they grow, it’s not uncommon for such species to nest on the edge of sheer drops, though typically spots such as cliffs are more common. The chicks are likely to hang around for another two months before moving on, but Baart remains hopeful that one of the birds will be back to nest in the future.

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