Greyish Eagle-Owl (Bubo cinerascens)

Greyish Eagle-Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Bubo cinerascens | [authority] Guerin-Meneville, 1843 | [UK] Greyish Eagle-Owl | [FR] Grand-duc du Sahel | [DE] Grau-Fleckenuhu | [ES] Buho Ceniciento | [NL] Vale Oehoe


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Bubo cinerascens AF e, c, w


Members of the genus Bubo are the largest of the owls. Heavily built with powerful talons they are recognisable by their size, their prominent ear-tufts, and their eyes that vary in colour from yellow to brown but are frequently vivid orange. The genus, including the Asian fish owls of the genus Ketupa – now believed to be part of Bubo – comprises of 20 species ranging Eurasia, Indonesia, Africa and the Americas. DNA evidence suggests that the Snowy Owls of Nyctea and the fish owls of Scotopelia are also candidates for inclusion in this genus.

Physical charateristics

This species is about 43 cm long. Like the Spotted Eagle-owl, the Greyish Eagle-owl has mottled dark brown, buff, and white upperparts and finely barred (vermiculated) underparts giving a greyish-brown appearance. It differs from the Spotted Eagle-owl in having dark brown (not yellow) eyes and a brownish facial disk marked with a heavy brown circle around each eye. It also has morphological differences, such as being lighter though about the same length and having shorter tarsi. In the area of overlap, the Spotted Eagle-owl and the present species are not known to interbreed

Listen to the sound of Greyish Eagle-Owl

[audio: Eagle-Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 42 cm size max.: 44 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : East, Central, West. It is found in the northern part of sub-Saharan Africa from Mauretania and Liberia east to Sudan and Somalia


Its habitats include dry rocky deserts and open savannah, as well as lowland forests in Somalia


Nest is a scrape on the ground of a cliff. Sometimes uses old nests of larger birds. Clutch size is 1-3 eggs which are incubated by the female.

Feeding habits

Diet consists of insects, invertebrates, also small mammals like birds; reptiles and frogs. It perch hunts or hawks prey from the air.

Video Greyish Eagle-Owl


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


It is closely related to the Spotted Eagle-owl, of which is it sometimes considered the northern subspecies, B. africanus cinerascens
Greyish Eagle-Owl status Data Deficient



Distribution map

Greyish Eagle-Owl distribution range map

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