Arabian eagle-owl


The Arabian eagle-owl (Bubo milesi) is a true owl, of the family Strigidae, endemic to areas of the Arabian Peninsula, known from southwestern Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.[3] Primarily, the species is known from the coastal areas and slightly inland of the peninsula, seemingly avoiding the most barren of the region's desert interior.[3] It nests in wadis, cliffs, on canyon walls, large palms and other trees.

Arabian eagle-owl
CITES Appendix II (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Bubo
B. milesi
Binomial name
Bubo milesi
Sharpe, 1886

A nocturnal hunter with naturally superb night vision, the Arabian eagle-owl primarily preys on rodents and other small animals. The unique tufts of feathers on its head (vaguely resembling "ears") serve to sharpen the owl's already-keen sense of hearing by directing delicate, nearly-inaudible sound waves toward its ears, enabling it to hear scurrying or digging small animals in the sand, even from a considerable distance. Similarly, the owl's rounded facial feathers, particularly surrounding the eyes—known as facial discs—filter light highly efficiently, especially at nighttime, helping it to focus-in on potential prey.



Bubo milesi is a medium-sized owl, visually very similar to the Eurasian eagle-owl (B. bubo) or the pharaoh eagle-owl (B. ascalaphus) of Northern Africa, possessing the same "ear"-tufts on its head for improved hearing. Overall, however, the species is smaller and has a slightly darker plumage, while its eyes are a bright yellow. [4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International. 2022. Bubo milesi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T216709635A217222538. Accessed on 23 June 2024.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ a b "Observations • iNaturalist".
  4. ^ Kirwan, G. M. and P. F. D. Boesman (2021). Arabian Eagle-Owl (Bubo milesi), version 1.2. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.