The Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is a large and powerful owl in Iran. Iran also hosts Ascalaphus sub specie of eagle owls. The other sub specie known as desertorum lives in arid regions of Arabia. In Iran we should be able to observe two different variants of eagle owl; One being common eagle owl and the other being Ascalaphus SS. The Ascalaphus is known to be 20% smaller and has paler underparts blending to less spoted and blotched markings.
In compare with eagles, smaller than the Golden Eagle but larger than the Snowy Owl. Snowy owl is hardly seen in Iran only random reports of them wintering in NE Iran. Eagle owl is titled the Iran’s largest owl. The photo on the right is Ascalaphus SS of eagle owl (Bubo ascalaphus) which is resident in Iran.
The Eagle Owl has a wingspan of up to 138-200 cm and measures 58-75 cm long. Females weigh 1.75-4.2 kg and males weigh 1.5-3.2 kg. It mainly feeds on small mammals, but can kill prey up to the size of foxes, Jackals and young deer (up to 10 kg/22 lb), if taken by surprise. I’ve seen her at night rubbing a sparrow hawk of its sleeping branch of a tree. Fur or feather eagle owls are savvy night hunters. Larger prey is consumed on the ground which leaves the bird vulnerable to ground hunters like wolves.
The call of the Eagle Owl is a deep resonant “ooh-hu” with emphasis on the first syllable for the male, and a more high-pitched uh-Hu for the female (in German, the name of this bird is “Uhu”). Each member of an Eagle Owl population can be identified by means of its vocalizations.
The size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. It has a strong direct flight. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females.
The horned owls are a part of the larger grouping of owls known as the typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.