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Indian Eagle Owl : A Large size agile Bird

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

(i) Indian Eagle Owl : A Large size agile Bird

Indian Eagle Owl

While boating near Brahmavarta ghat’ in the holy and historic town of Bithoor’, some large size owls were sighted perched on the tree, just below the famous Dhruv Tila’. It was a rare sight of such a big owl during daytime. We tried to sail nearer to the cliff on the Ganga river bank and have some memorable photos which are depicted here. Later on we identified them as ‘Indian Eagle Owl’.

Salient Features of Indian Eagle Owl :

· A resident bird of India, normally sighted in the Himalayan foothills and southern states.

· Very large in size (about 50 to 70 cm) with distinctive upright ear-tuffs.

· They have upperparts mottled dark brown and greyish – buff and heavily streaked breast. They have unique dark border to facial disk. Legs are entirely feathered.

· Their calls are deep, resonant woo – hoooo, woo – hoooo…’.

· Normally sighted in cliffs, woodlands, rocky and semi – forest area, scrubs and ravines.

· They feed mainly on insects, rodents, doves etc.

· Scientific name is ’Bubo Bengalensis’. It belongs to ‘Strigidae’ family.

· IUCN conservation status: ‘Least Concern’ (LC).

(ii) Jungle Owlet : A small size owl

Another owl sighted inside Kanpur cantonment area is ‘Jungle Owlet’, which is a type of small owl.

Jungle Owlet

A Pair of Jungle Owlet

Jungle Owlet [ Juvenile ]

Salient Features of Jungle Owlet :

· It is a widespread resident bird of India.

· Fine bars around their head and body are distinctive feature of these owlets. They have round head. The iris of eye is yellow, the bill and tarsi are greenish, claws are black.

· Their calls a loud ‘kao…kao…kao’ followed by a kao…kuk’.

· Normally sighted in open tropical and sub – tropical forest. They roost inside cavities of tree.

· They feed mainly on insects, small birds, reptiles and rodents.

· Scientific name is ’Glaucidium radiatum’. It belongs to Strigidae family.

· IUCN conservation status: ‘Least Concern’ (LC).

As the population of these nocturnal birds are decreasing due to loss of habitat and illegal hunting, we should help them for their survival.


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