Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Spot-bellied Eagle-owl (Bubo nipalensis)


French: Grand-duc du Népal German: Nepaluhu Spanish: Búho nepalí
Other common names: Forest Eagle-owl

Bubo nipalensis


, 1836,



Possibly close to B. sumatranus. Sri Lankan blighi perhaps no different from birds in S India. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. n. nipalensis Hodgson, 1836 – Himalayas from N Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand E to S China (Sichuan), S to Cambodia and Vietnam; also S India in Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats#R and Tamil Nadu.
  • B. n. blighi Legge, 1878 – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    51–63 cm; 1300–1500 g (sex not reported). Large, powerful, dark brown owl, with well-developed, outward-slanting ear tufts composed of feathers of different sizes... read more


    Deep, low, resounding “hoo hoo”, 2 seconds duration in total; also loud, mournful... read more


    Dense evergreen and moist deciduous forest, usually near water, montane wet temperate forest, mixed... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly large birds; also mammals, reptiles and fish; occasionally carrion. Avian prey includes large phasianids, especially junglefowl,... read more


    Lays Feb–Mar in Himalayas and Nepal; Dec–Jan in S India; Apr–May in Sri Lanka. Nest in large tree cavity or abandoned... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Formerly considered Near Threatened. Global population size and population trends unknown. Rare and local on Indian... 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). Spot-bellied Eagle-owl (Bubo nipalensis). 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 14 December 2019).