SPOT-BELLIED EAGLE OWL
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Context: A wildlife team recently stumbled upon a spot-bellied eagle owl (Bubo Nipalensis) for the first time in the Seshachalam forest, and for the third time in Andhra Pradesh
- The bird’s habitat, found on large trees in thick forests, is spread across the Indian subcontinent.
- But it was sighted only twice in the State earlier, and both the times it was at Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR).
- The bold predatory bird, measuring 20-25 inches in length and weighing between 1.5 kg and 2 kg, feeds on small rodents and lizards.
- The bird makes a strange scream similar to humans and it is hence called the ‘ghost of the forest’ in India and ‘devil bird’ in Sri Lanka.
- The team also spotted a ‘Mottled wood owl’ (Strix Ocellata).
- Though both are labelled as ‘least concern’ in terms of population stability, the development assumes significance in view of their maiden sighting in the verdant Seshachalam ranges.