21 Mar 2019

Pharaoh Eagle Owl - Jubail area

I saw and photographed a Pharaoh Eagle Owl recently in the desert in the Eastern Province. Records suggest it is an uncommon bird in the Saudi Arabian deserts, although it is probably more common than records suggest as they are secretive and well camouflaged. The Pharaoh Eagle Owl is distributed throughout much of North Africa and the Middle East, with two recognised subspecies. The subspecies Bubo ascalaphus ascalaphusoccupies 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 desertorumcan 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. desertorumas this bird appears to be, but there appear to be many birds resembling the sub-species B. a. ascalaphusalso in the Kingdom.
Pharaoh Eagle Owl

Pharaoh Eagle Owl

Pharaoh Eagle Owl

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