Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Blakiston's Eagle-owl (Bubo blakistoni)


French: Grand-duc de Blakiston German: Riesenfischuhu Spanish: Búho manchú
Other common names: Blakiston’s Fish-owl

Bubo blakistoni


, 1884,

Hokkaido, Japan


Sometimes placed in genus Ketupa, and has been thought closely related to, or even conspecific with, K. zeylonensis; skeletal details, however, especially skull morphology, appear identical to those of Bubo (e.g. B. bubo) and different from osteology of Ketupa. Proposed race piscivorus (NE China W of Great Khingan Mts) included in doerriesi, and karafutonis (Sakhalin) in nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. b. doerriesi Seebohm, 1895 – NE China and Russian Far East S to Korean border.
  • B. b. blakistoni Seebohm, 1884 – Sakhalin, N Japan (Hokkaido) and S Kuril Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    60–71 cm; nominate: male 3150–3450 g (n = 3), female 3360–4600 g (n = 4); race doerriesi: male 3100 g (mean of 7), female 3250 (... read more


    Territorial call short, deep “boo-boo-voo” or “shoo-hoo”; elaborate duets;... read more


    Dense, old-growth broadleaf or mixed broadleaf/coniferous forest along clear rivers, favouring... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily fish, including large ones; also crabs, crayfish, frogs (especially in spring), and birds up to size of grouse (Tetraonidae);... read more


    Lays late Feb-mid Mar, when snow cover still deep. Probably pairs for life. Nest a spacious hole up to 18 m above ground in large hollow... read more


    Generally considered resident, but seasonal movements poorly understood. Young birds may wander... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. CITES II. One of world’s rarest, and until fairly recently most poorly known owls. Numbers in Russia, including Sakhalin and S Kuril Is, estimated at 300... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L., Sharpe, C.J. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Blakiston's Eagle-owl (Bubo blakistoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).