Order: Strigiformes

Family: Strigidae

Scientific name: Bubo bengalensis, Franklin, 1831

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Indian Eagle Owl is also known as Rock Eagle Owl and Indian Great Horned Owl.
  2. Indian Eagle Owl is very helpful to us in destroying the rodents and vermin in Agricultural areas.


The Indian Eagle Owl is a very large and measures 50 to 60 cm in length 1000-1100 grams in weight. They are usually brown with dark gray markings. It has prominent ear-tufts. There is a white throat patch with black stripes. The facial disc is poorly developed and unmarked and has a blackish border. The under wings has a dark carpal patch. The irises are blood-orange. The beak and claws are grey.


The diet of Indian Eagle Owl is mostly rodents. Rodents like Indian mole-rat, little Indian field mouse and Indian bush rat are preyed on. Other mammals like hare, rabbit, woolly flying squirrel, bat and reptiles like Lizards, snakes, birds like Partridges, Doves, Indian Rollers, Rock Pigeons, Shikras and Spotted Owlets, frogs, fish, crabs and large insects also form the diet of Indian Eagle Owl. They are very powerful to attack even a Peafowl. The prey is teared up into smaller pieces before swallowing. The forage time is mainly night and it is done solitarily or in pairs.


The Indian Eagle Owl is moderately forest dependent. Their habitats include forests, natural rock formations, inland cliffs, mountain peaks, woodlands, semi deserts, arable lands and plantations. In India it is distributed in Himalayan Foot hills and south through the peninsula. Absent in North East States. They are also found in Pakistan.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season of Indian Eagle Owl is from October to May in India, with a peak in February to April. No nest is made by them. Instead they nest on bare soil among rock, on the ledge of a cliff or under a bush. The same site may be reused each year. Normally 3-4 creamy white eggs are laid. The period of incubation is about 33 days. Both sexes share all domestic duties.


The call is a deep resonant booming “bu-whúoh” sound.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)
  • Spot bellied Eagle Owl (Bubo nipalensis).
  • Dusky Eagle Owl (Bubo coromundus).
  • Greyish Eagle Owl (Bubo cinerascens).
  • Barred Eagle Owl (Bubo sumatranus).

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident