Asian Owls

There is a very wide variety of owls in Asia, with the region playing host to a large number of species. Additionally, several new species have been identified there in the last 20 years, including the Serendib scops owl in Sri Lanka and the Little Sumba hawk owl in Indonesia.

Owls have great cultural significance in Asia. In Japanese culture some owls are seen as divine messengers while others, particularly Barn or Horned owls, are viewed as demons. In India a white owl is considered a companion and a form of Laksmi, the goddess of wealth, and is therefore an omen of prosperity and good fortune. But owls can also represent wisdom or, paradoxically, foolishness.

In the Middle East owls have been connected with evil spirits for centuries and are still treated warily because of a perceived ferocity of appearance. In Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, owls are known as ‘ghost birds’.

Asian owls face many challenging conservation issues including habitat destruction from forest fragmentation, and a forestry technique called clearcutting, as well as ingestion of pesticides. The problem is compounded by an insufficient knowledge of owl populations to allow assessment of the impact of such issues on them.

Here are the Asian owls we have at the sanctuary:

Indian Scops Owl

Precious - Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena)

Precious – Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena)

Scientific name: Otus bakkamoena
Height: 230mm–250mm
Geographical distribution: Southern regions of Asia from eastern Arabia through the Indian Subcontinent, except the far north, east across much of Southeast Asia to Indonesia.
Habitat: Common resident bird in forests and other well-wooded areas, and nests in a hole in a tree.
Diet: It feeds mainly on insects, sometimes rodents, lizards and birds.
Status: Widespread and locally common.

Here is the name of the Indian Scops owl we have at the sanctuary:

PRECIOUS

Malaysian Brown Wood Owl

NESTA - Malaysian brown wood owl (Strix leptogrammica)

NESTA – Malaysian brown wood owl (Strix leptogrammica)

Scientific name: Strix leptogrammica
Height: 460mm to 530mm
Geographical distribution: India, south China, south-east Asia

Habitat: highland and lowland forest
Diet: rodents, large birds, insects and fish
Status: uncertain, locally common

Here are the names of the Malaysian brown wood owls we have at the sanctuary:

HONEY
NESTA
ASHLEY

Indian Eagle Owl

Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis)

Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis)

Common name: Bengal or Rock Owl
Scientific name: Bubo bengalensis
Height: 500mm to 560mm
Geographical distribution: India, Pakistan and Nepal
Habitat: rocky crevices or ledges of clay cliffs, ruined or abandoned buildings
Diet: field rats and mice, birds, reptiles and crabs
Status:
uncertain but not uncommon

Here are the names of the Indian Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:

ELVIS
INDRA
BUBO
HENRIETTA

Aharoni’s Eagle Owl

PALOMA - Aharoni’s Eagle owl (Bubo bubo interpositus)

PALOMA – Aharoni’s Eagle owl (Bubo bubo interpositus)

Scientific name: Bubo bubo interpositus
Height: 580mm to 710mm
Geographical distribution: Bessarabia, Crimea, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria and Iran
Habitat: mountainous forest, semi-desert and rocky slopes

Diet: large birds, a variety of small- and medium-sized mammals including rabbits and hares, roe deer fawns, young foxes, hedgehogs and farmyard cats. Also frogs, newts and crabs
Status:
widespread, but everywhere scarce, locally endangered

Here is the name of the Aharoni’s Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:

PALOMA

Turkemanian Eagle Owl

Turkemanian eagle owl (Bubo bubo turcomanus)

Turkemanian eagle owl (Bubo bubo turcomanus)

Scientific name: Bubo bubo turcomanus
Height: 580mm to 710mm
Geographical distribution: between Volga and Upper Ural, the Caspian Sea and Aral sea, east to Transbaikalia and Tarin basin to western Mongolia

Habitat: mountainous forest, semi-desert and rocky slopes
Diet: large birds, a variety of small- and medium-sized mammals including rabbits and hares, roe deer fawns, young foxes, hedgehogs and farmyard cats. Also frogs, newts and crabs
Status: widespread, but everywhere scarce, locally endangered

Here are the names of the Turkemanian  Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:
ANASTASIA

Siberian/Turkmenian Eagle Owl

Rupert the Siberian/Turkemanian eagle owl

Rupert the Siberian/Turkemanian eagle owl

Rupert, a Siberian/Turkmenian eagle owl, is the son of Boris, a Western Siberian Eagle Owl. He was hatched in 1992 and he is a big favourite with the visitors as he can be seen regularly on the mews with the other hand-tame owls.

The stories of his younger days are extremely amusing but would fill up the whole website. His appearance is very similar to Boris, and he has on occasions been Boris’ double.

His character is friendly, and he can be heard hooting, especially when returning to his perch.

Eastern Siberian Eagle Owl

Eastern Siberian eagle owl (Bubo bubo yenisseensis)

Eastern Siberian eagle owl (Bubo bubo yenisseensis)

Scientific name: Bubo bubo yenisseensis
Height: 580mm to 710mm
Geographical distribution: central Siberia between Ob river, Lake Baikal, Altai mountains, and north Mongolia

Habitat: mountainous forest, semi-desert and rocky slopes
Diet: large birds, a variety of small- and medium-sized mammals including rabbits and hares, roe deer fawns, young foxes, hedgehogs and farmyard cats. Also frogs, newts and crabs
Status: widespread, but everywhere scarce, locally endangered

Here are the names of the Eastern Siberian Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:

OLGA
TOMSK
KANSK
SYLVI
LIGHTNING MCQUEEN

Western Siberian Eagle Owl

Western Siberian eagle owl (Bubo bubo sibiricus)

Western Siberian eagle owl (Bubo bubo sibiricus)

Scientific name: Bubo bubo sibiricus
Height: 580mm to 710mm
Geographical distribution: western Siberia and Bashkiria, to middle Ob river and West Altai mountains, north to the limits of the Taiga

Habitat: mountainous forest, semi-desert and rocky slopes
Diet: large birds, plus a variety of small- and medium-sized mammals including rabbits and hares, roe deer fawns, young foxes, hedgehogs and farmyard cats. Also frogs, newts and crabs
Status: widespread, but everywhere scarce, locally endangered

Here are the names of the Western Siberian Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:

BAIKAL
MUSSORGSKY
BORIS
NADYEZHDA