Did You Know? 15 Incredible Bengal Eagle Owl Facts

Discover captivating Bengal eagle owl facts about its habitat, breeding, and more.

The Bengal eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, is a species of big owls that are also commonly called the rock eagle owl and the Indian eagle owl. These eagle owls have a stable population in the Indian subcontinent, namely in Nepal, India, Burma, and Pakistan. They're endemic to the Indian subcontinent's rocky and hilly scrub forests. Interestingly, the Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, was recognized as the Eurasian eagle owl's subspecies because of their similar physical characteristics. Assumed to be kind and wise, they're popularly believed to be a bad omen in the Indian subcontinent.

Superstitions aside, these beautiful owls mainly have beige or brown and gray colored feathers on their body with the upper part of their body possessing white, black, and brown colors whereas the lower parts are relatively pale, possessing dark stripes. They have orange eyes with noticeable dark brown colored ear tufts. These owls are assumed to occur in two colorations, a lighter one and a darker one. They weigh in the range of 39-70 oz (1.1-1.9 kg)  and their length ranges between 19.6-23.6 in (50-60 cm).

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis), inhabits scrubland, woodland, rugged landscapes, and forests. The breeding period of this bird starts in October and lasts until May when they construct their nest on the ground. Their call is deep and booming and is typically heard at dusk and dawn, which is also their hunting time. The conservation status of this rock eagle owl is Least Concern as per the IUCN's Red List. Keep reading to get to know more fun facts about the Bengal eagle owl that you never knew!

If you love reading about the Bengal eagle owl, you can check out our eagle facts for kids and fun facts about barn owls too!

Bengal Eagle Owl

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Rats and mice, birds, reptiles, frogs, crabs, and large insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-4 eggs

How much do they weigh?

39-70 oz (1.1-1.9 kg)

How long are they?

19.6-23.6 in (50-60 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, orange, rufous, black, white, greenish, and tawn

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Humans and pesticides

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Rocky hills with bushes, wooded area with ravines, and old mango orchards


West Himalayas, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, and India





Scientific Name

Bubo bengalensis





Bengal Eagle Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Bengal eagle owl?

The Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, is one of several majestic species of owls. This magnificent owl was once considered a subspecies of the Eurasian eagle owl but was later classified as a separated species.

What class of animal does a Bengal eagle owl belong to?

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) belongs to the class Aves.

How many Bengal eagle owls are there in the world?

The population of the Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, hasn't been evaluated yet. We do know that they have a stable population, however, we cannot say that its abundant.

Where does a Bengal eagle owl live?

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) is mainly spotted in scrub and forests located near rocky regions, south of the Himalayan range in the Indian subcontinent at altitudes below 5000 ft (1500 m). This bird prefers not to reside in arid regions and humid forests. It likes to inhabit rocky hillocks and ravines that are covered with bushes, as well as streams and river banks. This species can be spotted in  Nepal, India, Burma, and Pakistan.

What is a Bengal eagle owl's habitat?

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) bird is a crepuscular (active at twilight) bird that can be seen hunting for food at dusk and dawn. During the breeding season of this owl, which is from October to May, this bird constructs a nest in hidden scrapes on the ground. This bird spends its day mainly taking shelter under a rocky ledge or bush, or even in a huge mango tree's foliage.

Who do Bengal eagle owls live with?

Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) birds are typically spotted in pairs.

How long does a Bengal eagle owl live?

The Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, can live up to 20 years in the wild whereas, in captivity, they can live for 50 long years!

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of this bird starts in October and persists until May. Their courtship displays include various flights, feeding each other, and certain distinct calls. The nest is constructed on the ground on bare soil in shallow scrapes, and not on trees. A female lays one to six eggs, once a year, that are glossy and white-cream in color. The incubation of the eggs of these owls takes 33-34 days. The male owl feeds his female partner until their young have walked out of the nest which happens 23-38 days after birth. To protect their young from predators, these wise owls pretend to be injured so as to divert the attention of the predator.

What is their conservation status?

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) has a Least Concern status as per the IUCN's Red List. They aren't suffering from any significant threats to their existence. However, there have been instances when these birds have suffered due to ground fires, and sometimes they are illegally slaughtered due to beliefs and superstitions about the species. They're also affected by the use of pesticides as well as the loss of their habitat due to urbanization. These fierce birds are protected by law.

Bengal Eagle Owl Fun Facts

What do Bengal eagle owls look like?

The Bengal eagle owl has a brown colored plumage that is streaked and marked with spots. Their yellow and orange eyes are forward-facing. They have two dark-colored feather tufts that look similar to horns. Their bill is hooked and is also brown in color. These magnificent owls have large rounded wings. Even their legs are completely feathered and possess a grayish brown coloration. They have sharp black claws. Interestingly, male owls of this species are smaller than females!

The Bengal eagle owl has a streaked brown plumage that lets it camouflage excellently!

How cute are they?

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) has a fierce appearance due to the dark tufts on its head. Its orange eyes can give it a slightly scary appearance, however, the chicks are quite adorable.

How do they communicate?

The Indian eagle owl (Bubo bengalensis) has a deep and loud call that sounds like 'eerie, ghoo, ghoo' and can be heard at dusk and dawn. These birds have different calls for various occasions.

How big is a Bengal eagle owl?

The Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, has a long length that ranges between 19.6-23.6 in (50-60 cm). Their wingspan ranges between 14-17 in (35.8-43.4 cm) in length. They're slightly larger than the average size of tawny owls.

How fast can a Bengal eagle owl fly?

Their speed hasn't been evaluated yet. However, we do know that they have various flight moves. The flight of the rock eagle owl is swift and rapid, but mainly silent due to the serrated margins of their soft feathers. The rock eagle owl is also commonly known as the 'tiger of the night sky' because of the silent flight of this bird. These owls do not migrate.

How much does a Bengal eagle owl weigh?

The Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, weighs between 39-70 oz (1.1-1.9 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Female owls of this species are known as owl hens whereas males are referred to as owl cocks.

What would you call a baby Bengal eagle owl?

A baby Bengal eagle owl is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The rock eagle owl can be spotted hunting for food at dusk and dawn, preying upon rodents primarily, as well as birds during winter. The diet of the rock eagle owl also comprises reptiles, crabs, frogs, and small mammals. These fierce raptors can also devour a peacock! Eagle owls are preyed upon by foxes and martens.

Are they dangerous?

The Indian eagle owl, Bubo bengalensis, has never proved to be fatal to humans. However, they can be aggressive and known to scratch the eyes of their offender.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these wild birds of prey won't make a good pet. In many places, they're illegal to capture as well.

Did you know...

Some people believe that if this bird is starved for a number of days and then beaten, it will talk like a human and tell the future of the torturer!

What is the rarest owl?

The Blakiston fish owl, of the same genus Bubo, is the rarest and largest owl in the world. It is restricted to Japan, China, Russia, and North Korea.

Do eagle owls eat cats?

There isn't much evidence to show if eagle owls prey upon cats. However, these huge raptors have a wide range of prey that are relatively large, and cats do seem to fit the description of their ideal prey.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our California quail interesting facts and great grey owl facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable whimsical owl coloring pages!



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