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Spot­bellied eagle owl and Mottled wood owl

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Spot­bellied eagle owl and Mottled wood owl

Why in news:

  • A wildlife team recently found a spot­bellied eagle owl for the first time in the Seshachalam forest, and for the third time in Andhra Pradesh.
  • They also sighted Mottled wood owl’ last weekend in the fields abutting Chamala forest on the Tirupati Annamayya inter­district border.

More about Spot­bellied eagle:

  • The spot-bellied eagle-owl(Bubo nipalensis), also known as the forest eagle-owl is a large bird of prey with a formidable appearance.
  • It is a forest-inhabiting species found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • The bird’s habitat, found on large trees in thick forests, is spread across the Indian subcontinent.
  • But it was sighted only twice in the State earlier, and both the times it was at Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR).
  • The bold predatory bird, measuring 20­25 inches in length and weighing between 1.5 kg and 2 kg, feeds on small rodents and lizards.
  • It is the sixth longest owl in the world on average and has the ninth longest wings of any living owl.
  • The bird makes a strange scream similar to humans and it is hence called the ‘ghost of the forest’ in India and ‘devil bird’ in Sri Lanka.
  • The IUCN status of the species is listed as ‘least concern’ in terms of population stability.

About Mottled wood owl:

  • The mottled wood owl(Strix ocellata) is a species of large owl found in India.
  • They are found in gardens and thin deciduous forests adjacent to dry thorn forests or farmland.
  • They are easily detected by their distinctive tremulous eerie calls at dawn and dusk.
  • Their large size, lack of “ear” tufts and the concentric barring on the face make them easy to identify.
  • They roost in trees during the day choosing a branch with dense foliage.
  • The eerie call has been associated with ill omen in some parts of Kerala.
  • The IUCN status of this species is listed as Least Concern.

Syllabus: Prelims; Environment

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