Bird Introductions – Verreaux’s eagle-owl

The Verreaux’s eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus) also called a Milky-Eagle Owl is the largest owl in Africa with a wingspan of up to 6.5 feet (2 meters). They are arguably the most impressive bird of prey on the African Continent.

Verreaux's eagle-owl photo by Scott Bourne

The distinct pink eyelids make it easy to identify a Verraux’s owl. They are slightly smaller than an Eurasian Eagle Owl or a Blakiston’s Fish Owl making them the third largest owl in the world.

These owls eat just about everything and because of their size, more than half their diet is mammals. They primarily hunt at night. Their favorite meal may consist of monkeys, hares, bats, and hedgehogs. Verreaux’s owls have even been known to kill a small antelope.

They are monogamous and when paired, their song can carry for more than three miles.

Their status is officially listed as “Widespread, but locally rare and endangered.” These owls are persecuted by humans so they are in decline.

Verreaux’s Eagle Owl is named after the French bird specimen collector J.P. Verreaux (1807-1873).

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Bird Introductions

Scott Bourne View All →

Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.

Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. I photographed one of these Verreaux Eagle-Owls in Tanzania in January. It was during the bright midday sun and the owl was sleeping on a low branch at the edge of the bush. The pink eyelids were very striking.


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