27 November 2016

Pharaoh Eagle Owl near Jeddah – Records by Ajmal Thaha

Ajmal Thaha saw and photographed a Pharaoh Eagle Owl on 11 November. It is uncommon in the Saudi Arabian deserts but they Ajmal went to the Hejazi desert  around 50 km from Jeddah and found one. The Pharaoh Eagle Owl is distributed throughout much of North Africa and the Middle East, with two recognised subspecies. The subspecies Bubo ascalaphus ascalaphus occupies the northern part of the species range, being found in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, northern Egypt and Israel east to western Iraq. By contrast, the smaller, paler and sandier coloured Bubo ascalaphus desertorum can be found in the Sahara Desert south to Mauritania & Niger and from Western Sahara, east, to Sudan, as well as in Eritrea, Ethiopia and much of the Arabian Peninsula, as far south as northern Oman and as far east as southern Iraq. They are found in arid habitats, including open desert plains, rocky outcrops and broken escarpments and jabals, mountain cliffs and wadis. Most records from Saudi Arabia have been attributed to the pale B. a. desertorum but there appear to be many birds resembling the sub-species B. a. ascalaphus. I thank Ajmal for allowing me to use his photograph on my website which is shown below.
Pharaoh Eagle Owl