Friday, April 30, 2010

Pharoah Eagle Owl

                                                  Pharaoh Eagle Owl
                                                    Bubo ascalaphus

Large, pale eared owl with yellow or orange eyes. Generally a pale tawny above with black and white markings. Throat white, chest and belly pale tawny to sandy, streaked with black. Race desertorum generally paler.
46-50cm, 1900-2300g
North West Africa, across most of the Sahara, Syria, Israel to W Iraq and E Arabian Peninsula. Can be seen frequently in the Egyptian Sinai.
Rocky deserts and semi-deserts, gorges, cliffs, rocky mountain slopes.
Food Mainly mammals and birds, also reptiles and scorpions.
2-4 eggs, laid in February and March, in scrape amongst rocks or in a crevice. Incubation up to 36 days. Young leave nest by 7 weeks and are fully fledged by 10 weeks. They are independent by about 26 weeks.
A deep downward inflected “whu”.
Listed as not globally threatened, although until recently was included with B.bubo and little information is available on population levels. They are certainly persecuted in some areas as they are viewed as “evil spirits”, and killed on sight. Known in local Arabic dialect as 'Booma'.

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