Verreaux’s Eagle-owl - Bubo lacteus
This Eagle-owl is named after a French botanist and ornithologist, Jules Verreaux. After many voyages exploring Asia and Indonesia, he returned to France in 1838 with vast collections of plants, insects and birds which unfortunately were lost when his ship Le Lucullus was shipwrecked. The raptor named after him is a nocturnal predator which rests during the daytime perched in a tree. With its eyelids closed, its different colours are clearly visible. The upper eyelids are pinkish, sometimes red, and the lower ones are grey or off-white. When an intruder approaches, it uses an extraordinary diversionary display: it hops around whilst limping as if it has a broken wing or hangs onto a branch and suddenly tips over, pretending to lose its balance. A guaranteed surprise! Its strength has undoubtedly made an impression as in Ethiopia and Somalia, it features strongly in popular folklore.
CLASS : Aves
ORDER : Strigiformes
FAMILY : Strigidae
WINGSPAN : 1.4 m
WEIGHT : Male: 1.6-1.9 kg / Female: 2.5-3.1 kg
CLUTCH SIZE : 1-2 eggs
INCUBATION : 32-39 days.
LIFE EXPECTANCY : Record > 30 years in captivity
DIET : small and medium-sized mammals (hedhehogs, mongooses, etc.), small birds and sometimes snakes and even insects.
NATURAL HABITAT : savannahs and open forests
RANGE : Africa south of the Sahara.
Conservation status info
LC : Least Concern