Eagle owls

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Eagle owls
Great horned owl
Bubo virginianus
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neoaves
Order Information
Order Strigiformes
Family Information
Family Strigidae
Sub-family Striginae
Genus Information
Genus Bubo
Population statistics

Bubo is a genus of owls of the family Strigidae, and commonly known as either eagle or horned owls, and includes 25 living species. Bubo includes some of the largest living owls.


Eagle owls are large owls, with a subspecies of the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo sibiricus) reaching 31.4 inches in length and a wingspan of 5.9 feet. With the exception of the snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) all species bear pronounced ear tufts, which give the group the alternate name of horned owls. The legs and toes are feathered in some species, others are bare.

Range and habitats

With the exception of the Antarctica, Australasia and some Pacific islands, eagle owls are widespread throughout the world, with most species found in Asia and Africa. In Europe only the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and the snowy owl occur; the snowy owl itself is also well established in North America, sharing it with the only other species found there, the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).

The various species of eagle owl inhabit a variety of different habitats. These include equatorial rainforests, boreal forests, deserts, mountain regions, mangrove thickets, and Arctic tundra. The only prerequisite for a habitat settlement is a few trees or rock faces, in the protection of which they can breed and rest.


Debate is still on-going as to the proper taxonomy of several species here referred to as fish or fishing owls; the genera in which they are also listed by many authorities is in parenthesis. According to molecular biology findings, the snowy owl, formerly in the genus Nyctea, must also be placed within this genus.