Concentration of Indian Eagle-Owl
Indian Eagle-Owl is a species of Large Horned Owl found in the Indian Subcontinent. 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.
Structure of Indian Eagle-Owl
Indian Eagle-Owl 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. The inner claws are the longest. The last joint of the toes are unfeathered.
Taxonomy of Indian Eagle-Owl
The taxonomy of Indian Eagle-Owl is complex due to a large amount of variation. Dementiev was the first to consider the possibility of bengalensis being distinct within the Bubo bubo group. However Charles Vaurie noted that this as well as ascalaphus appeared to be distinct and not part of clinal variation. There is a lot of colour variation with the ground colour being dark brown above while some are pale and yellowish. On dark birds the streaks coalesce on the hind crown and nape but are narrow in pale birds. However, Vaurie notes that despite the variation, they are distinct from neighbouring forms B. B. tibetanus, B. B. hemachalana and B. B. nikolskii, in being smaller and richly coloured.
Babies of Indian Eagle-Owl
The chicks of Indian Eagle-Owl are born with white fluff which is gradually replaced by speckled feathers during the prejuvenile moult after about two weeks. After a month or so they go through a prebasic moult and a brownish juvenile plumage is assumed with the upperparts somewhat like in adults but the underside is downy. The full adult plumage is assumed much later.
Nesting Season of Indian Eagle-Owl
The nesting season of Indian Eagle-Owl 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. The eggs hatch after about 33 days and the chicks are dependent on their parents for nearly six month.