Philippine Eagle-Owl (Bubo philippensis)

Philippine Eagle-Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Bubo philippensis | [authority] Kaup, 1851 | [UK] Philippine Eagle-Owl | [FR] Grand duc des Philippines | [DE] Streifenuhu | [ES] Buho Filipino | [NL] Filippijnse Oehoe


Monotypic species


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

Medium large owl with small ear-tufts. Yellow eyes. Rufous-buff facial disc. Tawny-rufous crown and upperparts with conspicuous dark brown shaft-streaks. Dark brown wings and tail with buff barring. Whitish underparts, washed rufous especially on breast, with bold dark streaks. Subspecies B. p. mindanensis similar though darker. Similar spp. Giant Scops-owl Mimizuku gurneyi is smaller with dark not yellow eyes and has very different vocalisations. Voice Long series of bububububub calls fading away at the end and high-pitched screams

Listen to the sound of Philippine Eagle-Owl

[audio: Eagle-Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 38 cm size max.: 42 cm
incubation min.: 34 days incubation max.: 36 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 1  


Oriental Region : Philippines


It appears to be a sedentary resident of lowland forest, sometimes near watercourses, generally below 650 m but occasionally up to 1250 m (e.g. on Leyte). It tolerates disturbed, selectively logged and secondary forest and even coconut plantations with patches of thick secondary growth.


This eagle-owl lays one egg per clutch and has an incubation period of 35 days

Feeding habits

Little is known about the behavior of this secretive species, but the powerful feet suggest it feeds on small mammals and birds

Video Philippine Eagle-Owl


copyright: Desmond Allen


This species has a small, severely fragmented population which is undergoing a rapid decline as a result of extensive lowland deforestation throughout its range, plus perhaps hunting. It therefore qualifyies as Vulnerable.
Bubo philippensis is endemic to the Philippines, where it is known from Luzon, Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Mindanao and possibly Sibuyan. Historically it was uncommon and the paucity of recent records (the majority of which derive from Luzon, with odd records from Bohol, Mindanao and Catanduanes) suggests that it is now rare. This conclusion is supported by results of extensive fieldwork, conducted over two three-month periods in 1991-92, in the Sierra Madre mountains (Luzon), when just three or four birds were recorded at three sites
Philippine Eagle-Owl status Vulnerable


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Philippine Eagle-Owl distribution range map

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