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Verreaux's eagle owl, also commonly known as the milky eagle owl or giant eagle owl, (Bubo lacteus) is a member of the family Strigidae. This species is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. A member of the Bubo genus, it is the largest African owl measuring up to 66 cm (26 in) in total length. This eagle-owl is a resident primarily of dry, wooded savanna. Verreaux's eagle owl is mainly grey in color and is at once distinguished from other large owls by its bright pink eyelids, a feature shared with no other owl species in the world. Verreaux's eagle owl is a highly opportunistic predator equipped with powerful talons. Just over half of its known diet is comprised by mammals but equal or even greater numbers of birds and even insects may be hunted locally, along with any other appropriately sized prey that is encountered. This species is considered of Least Concern by IUCN as it occurs over a wide range and has shown some adaptability to human-based habitation alterations and destruction and adaptability to diverse prey when a primary prey species declines in a region. As a large, highly territorial species of owl, it does however occur at fairly low densities and some regional declines have been reported. The common name commemorates the French naturalist Jules Verreaux. The type specimen that was later described by Temminck at the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie was collected by Verreaux while he was still in his teens. Despite the alternate common name of giant eagle owl, the Verreaux's eagle owl is not the largest owl or eagle owl in the world. It is, however, a very large and powerful owl species. This species is both the largest owl found in Africa and the world’s largest owl to occur in the tropics. Among all the world's owls, it is fourth heaviest living owl, after Blakiston's fish owl (Bubo blakistoni), the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and the tawny fish owl (Bubo flavipes), and is also the fourth longest living owl (measured from the bill to the tip of the tail), after the great gray (Strix nebulosa), Blakiston's fish and Eurasian eagle-owls. Based on body mass and wing chord length, Verreaux's eagle owl is about the same size as "medium-sized" races of Eurasian eagle-owl, such as those from Central Asian steppe (B. b. turcomanus) and the Himalayas (B. b. hemachalana), slightly smaller than most northern Eurasian races, considerably smaller than Siberian and Russian eagle owls, and somewhat larger than the smallest Eurasian eagle-owl subspecies, such as those from the Iberian Peninsula (B. b. hispanus) and the Middle East (B. b. omissus or nikolskii).

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