Where to see them:
- Eagle owls are true owls. The “eagle” in their name refers to their large size.
- Milky eagle owls are the largest African owl species.
- Mandela, the milky eagle owl in the Wildlife Theater show, hatched here at Zoo Atlanta.
Milky Eagle Owl
Approx 26in, 5.5 to 7lbs
Savanna, woodlands near rivers and lakes
Long-term pairs defend enormous territories and announce their presence with deep booming hoots that can be heard at considerable distances through the quiet African nights. This is one of the very few owl species in which offspring from the previous year will stay with the adults the next season to help rear young. At Zoo Atlanta, the owls consider their habitat as their territory, and it requires three keepers with helmets and shields to clean the exhibit safely!
Milky eagle owls eat small to medium-sized mammals. The species is the largest night predator
among African birds. They are extremely powerful and will often crash down through the tree canopy to catch sleeping prey. This is also one of the few species in Africa that can kill and eat hedgehogs.
Milky eagle owls generally lay two eggs in a clutch. Generally only one chick survives. Both adults are involved in rearing; however, females generally do the incubation and most of the feeding. Males hunt and bring food back to the nest. Chicks leave the nest approximately 9-10 weeks of age and become sexually mature around 3 years of age. Milky eagle owls can live into their 20s.
Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Antelope, vervet monkey, rock hyrax, guineafowl, cranes
Population Status & Threats