Recently, a spot-bellied eagle owl (Bubo Nipalensis) was seen for the first time in the Seshachalam forest, and for the third time in Andhra Pradesh.
About Spot-bellied eagle owl
- The bird’s habitat, found on large trees in thick forests, is spread across the Indian subcontinent.
- But it was sighted only twice in the State earlier, and both the times it was at Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR).
- The bird makes a strange scream similar to humans and it is hence called the ‘ghost of the forest’ in India and ‘devil bird’ in Sri Lanka.
- The team also spotted a ‘Mottled wood owl’ (Strix Ocellata) last weekend in the fields abutting Chamala forest on the Tirupati-Annamayya inter-district border.
- Both the Mottled wood owl and Spot-bellied eagle owl are labelled as ‘least concern’ as per IUCN Red list.
- This species is considered part of a superspecies with the barred eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus), which looks quite similar but is allopatric in distribution.
- The spot-bellied eagle-owl is nocturnal and often spends its day hidden in the dense foliage of large forest trees.
- This species is distributed through the Lower Himalayas from Kumaon east to Burma, thence to central Laos and central Vietnam.
- They are found throughout the Indian subcontinent and peninsular Southeast Asia, reaching the southernmost limits of their range in Sri Lanka and 12 degrees north in southern Thailand.
- They are found in a range of climates from the temperate woodlands of Nepal to the humid, tropical rainforest of Southeast Asia.
- However. the spot-bellied eagle-owl is mainly a species of tropical and subtropical foothills, mostly distributed at elevations of 900–1,200 m (3,000–3,900 ft), but it can be found from sea-level to 6,300 m (20,700 ft), the latter in the Transhimalayas.
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