Rock Eagle Owl

Anne-Marie Bokslag

Haarlem, Netherlands

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Artist's Description

Juried Invitational Exhibition
March 2010

Scott d’ Almeida Incredible Timing Award
Juried Invitational
of Solo Exhibition, March 2010

Featured in the DSLR Users Only group and
in the A Vision Of Flight group.

Also available as T-Shirt

This picture is included in the Only Owls calendar

The Rock Eagle Owl also called the Indian Eagle Owl or Bengal Eagle Owl, Bubo bengalensis is a species of large horned owl found in South Asia. They were earlier treated as a subspecies of the Eurasian Eagle Owl. They are found in hilly and rocky scrub forests, and are usually seen in pairs. They have a deep resonant booming call that may be heard at dawn and dusk. They are typically large owls, and have “tufts” on their heads. They are splashed with brown, and grey and have a white throat patch with black small stripes.

This species is often considered a subspecies of the Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo and is very similar in appearance. The facial disk is unmarked and has a black border, a feature that is much weaker in the Eurasian form. The base of the primaries is unbanded and rufous. The tail bands have the tawn bands wider than the black ones. A large pale scapular patch is visible on the folded wing.

They are seen in scrub and light to medium forests but are especially seen near rocky places within the mainland of the Indian Subcontinent south of the Himalayas and below 5000 feet elevation. Humid evergreen forest and extremely arid areas are avoided. Bush covered rocky hillocks and ravines, and steep banks of rivers and streams are favourite haunts. It spends the day under the shelter of a bush or rocky projection, or in a large mango or similar thickly foliaged tree near villages. Their diet consists of rodents, reptiles and birds.

The deep resonant two note calls are characteristic and males deliver these “long calls” mainly during dusk in the breeding season. The peak calling intensity is noticed in February. Young birds produce clicks, hisses and open up their wings to appear larger than they are. Nesting adults will fly in zig zag patterns and mob any potential predators (including humans) who approach the nest.

Their diet through much of the year consists of rodents, but birds seem to be mainly taken towards winter. Prey species of birds include partridges, doves, Indian Roller, the Shikra and the Spotted Owlet. Birds the size of a peacock are sometimes attacked. Rodents noted in a study in Pondicherry were Tatera indica, Golunda ellioti, Rattus sp., Mus booduga and Bandicota bengalensis. Bats were also preyed on. In Pakistan, Nesokia indica is an important prey item in their diet. Mammals the size of a Black-naped hare Lepus nigricollis may be taken. In Pakistan, they have been found to take Lepus capensis and Eupetaurus cinereus.

When feeding on rodents, they tear up the prey rather than swallow them whole. Captives feed on about 61g of prey per day.

The nesting season is November to April. The eggs number three to four and are creamy white, broad roundish ovals with a smooth texture. They are laid on bare soil in a natural recess in an earth bank, on the ledge of a cliff, or under the shelter of a bush on level ground. The nest site is reused each year. Source: Wikipedia

IUCN Red List least concern species.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon Zoom lens EF 100-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6 L IS
Exposure time 1/800s
Aperture value f/5.6
ISO 400
Focal length 400 mm

Picture taken in Berkel en Rodenrijs, The Netherlands

Artwork Comments

  • DonDavisUK
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