Eurasian Eagle Owl    Bubo bubo


  • Bubo : Latin word for Eurasian Eagle owl
  • Bubo : Latin word for Eurasian Eagle owl

Vernacular Names:  Baluchistan: Boom, Sind: Gug, Hindi: Ghughu, Pun: Kanarulloo, Ben: Hutompecha, Ladakh: Oog-pa, Guj: Moto ghuvad, Mar: HumaGhubad, Shrungighubad, Ta: Kombanaandai, Te: Yerragudlaguba, Mal: Kombanmunga, Hindi:EuresiaiGhuggu

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas in India.

Description: Size of 58–71 cm; wt. of male is 1550–2800 g, wt. of female is 2280–4200 g; wingspan of 160–188 cm. It is world’s heaviest owl, almost barrel-shaped, with prominent ear-tufts, powerful bill and feet; flight is like that of a buzzard. The nominate bubo with buffy grey-brown facial disc with indistinct dark border, light buff eyebrows; hindneck light buff-brown, mantle blacker, rest of upperparts  are warm buff-brown, all heavily streaked blackish; flight-feathers are barred buffish and dark brown; throat is whitish; rest of underparts are brownish orange-buff, paler on belly, with long black droplets on chest, narrow black streaks and thin vermiculation on flanks and belly; tarsus and toes are fully feathered buff-white; irides are golden to orange; cere is greyish-olive; bill is black; talons are blackish-brown with black tips. The juvenile are with rudimentary ear tufts, head with buffy down, underparts and wing- and tail-coverts are narrowly barred. The races differ mainly in general coloration, strength of dark markings, and size: race hispanus and ruthenus are lighter and greyer than nominate; race interpositusis darker, more rufous; race sibiricus is very pale, creamy-white below with contrasting streaks; race yenisseensisis darker, with yellower ground colour; race hemachalanais more light brown above, including mantle, race turcomanusis similar but greyer; race omissus is with ochre ground colour, markings below less heavy, race nikolskii is smaller and more rufous; race jakutensisis dark, browner above, well-marked below, race ussuriensisis darker still with ochre wash below; race kiautschensis is rather small, very dark, streaking thin; race swinhoeiis small, strongly tinged rufous.

Habitat: It is found in mostly inhabits areas of sparse human settlement or of topographically inaccessible terrain such as rocky country with cliffs and ravines, caves, patches of woodland, scattered trees or groves, generally in undisturbed wilderness areas, in open forest, taiga and other types of woodland, wooded steppe, river valleys with gorges, overgrown quarries; also farmland with suitable rocky areas or cliffs. It also forages over open or sparsely wooded terrain, as well as floodland, heaths, farmed valley bottoms or levels with grassland, small arable fields, and even refuse dumps. It breeds from sea-level up to 4500 m.

Food habits: It eats mammals, like water vole, adult hares and birds like Jay, herons and buzzard and amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates like beetles. Cannibalism occurs, with weakest young eaten by parents or siblings, and occasionally a full-grown bird recorded eaten by conspecifics. It is primarily nocturnal, somewhat crepuscular, and even diurnal in summer. It Hunts mostly from open perch; also in searching flight; takes prey by surprise while flying close to ground or tree-tops; sometimes makes systematic searches of rock crevices for roosting birds; usually watches and waits for prey to reveal itself, .It catches bats in flight, birds in full flight and fish by plunging into water .It also plunders both adults and young of nest of crows.

Breeding habits: They breed in Feb–Aug in Ladhak- India, Scandinavia and Dec in France. They are monogamous and solitary. They nest on sheltered cliff ledge or in crevice, in cave entrance, on ground on steep slope or on flatter ground in taiga, sometimes in old tree nest of other species. The same site may be used for multiple years, or favoured sites in territory reused periodically over several years. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The laying interval is 3 days. The incubation period is 34–36 days. The incubation is done by female and she is fed by male. The hatching is asynchronous, and chicks have whitish and buffy down. The young are brooded by female, continuously for 15 days. The male feeds female and young. After 3 weeks young start to feed themselves at nest, move outside nest at 5 weeks and, can fly after 7 weeks. The young are independent after 20–24 weeks.