Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Verreaux's Eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus)


French: Grand-duc de Verreaux German: Blassuhu Spanish: Búho lechoso
Other common names: Giant Eagle-owl, Milky Eagle-owl

Strix lactea


, 1820,



No obvious close relatives. Monotypic.


Tropical Africa patchily from S Mauritania and C Mali E to C Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia, S to South Africa#R.

Descriptive notes

60–65 cm; male 1615–1960 g, female 2475–3115 g; wingspan 140–164 cm. Largest African owl; distinct dusky ear tufts. Off-white facial disc rimmed in... read more


Deep, grunting “gwok gwok” notes, uttered in uneven series of 1–5 hoots, may... read more


Open thorny savanna and semi-desert with scattered trees; riparian areas with stands of large trees... read more

Food and feeding

Opportunistic, diet based on prey availability. Mostly medium-sized mammals and larger birds; also reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects,... read more


Lays Mar–Sept, peak in Jun–Aug; Jan–Mar in W, Oct–Jan in NE. Monogamous. Uses old stick nest of other bird such as... read more


Resident, even in arid areas; only local dispersal of young. Ringed nestling had moved 24 km from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common and widespread throughout most of its range; generally less common in W, where also more local. No estimates 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). Verreaux's Eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus). 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 13 December 2019).