Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Greyish Eagle-owl (Bubo cinerascens)


French: Grand-duc du Sahel German: Grauuhu Spanish: Búho ceniciento
Other common names: Vermiculated Eagle-owl

Bubo cinerascens


, 1843,

Adowa, Ethiopia


Usually treated as conspecific with B. africanus; differs, however, in plumage and in bare-part colours, and not known to interbreed in overlap areas in Uganda and Kenya. Pale birds in Chad described as form kollmannspergeri, but probably only colour variant. Monotypic.


SC Mauritania#R and Senegambia E to Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, S to Cameroon, N Uganda and N Kenya#R#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 43 cm; c. 500 g. Relatively small eagle-owl (wing 284–333 mm in male, 298–338 mm in female), similar to B. africanus; compared with latter, slightly... read more


Male gives loud 2-note hoot, with notes separated by c. 1·4 seconds; first note "rather... read more


Dry, rocky desert, semi-desert and hillsides with scattered trees and thorn scrub, and savanna with... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and other arthropods, small mammals and birds, reptiles and frogs. A sample of 44 prey items from the Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon,... read more


Published data scarce. Lays Nov–May in most of range; Aug in Nigeria, Mar–May (Jul?) in Somalia. Nest a scrape on ground on... read more


Generally resident, but with some local movement to higher elevations during hot summers.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No estimates of global population size; population trends suspected to be stable. Generally rather uncommon through most of... 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. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Greyish Eagle-owl (Bubo cinerascens). 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 15 December 2019).