Hume’s Owl or Hume’s Tawny Owl

The Hume’s Owl or Hume’s Tawny Owl (Strix butleri) is a species of owl. As its alternative name implies, it is closely related to the more widespread Tawny Owl.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.

Hume’s Owl breeds in Syria, Israel, northeast Egypt and the Arabian peninsula. Its habitat is palm groves, desert, semi-desert and rocky ravines. It nests in crevices and holes in cliffs. Its diet consists of voles, mice and large insects.

This is a medium-sized earless owl, smaller than Tawny Owl at 29-33 cm in length. It is largely nocturnal and sedentary. Its stocky body and round head recall a small Tawny Owl, but it is paler, less streaked, particularly on the underparts, and has yellow eyes.

The call of the Hume’s Owl is a hoooo-ho-ho-ho-ho, described as similar in rhythm to Eurasian Collared Dove. The female version is deeper and less distinct than the male’s.

The scientific specific name butleri refers to Colonel Edward Arthur Butler, English ornithologist.

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