Blakiston’s Eagle-owl

East Asia


Bubo blakistoni


  • Habitat loss
  • Hunting
  • Construction of human settlements and commercial infrastructure

The Blakiston’s Eagle-Owl or Bubo Blakistoni is the largest species of owl. It thrives in riparian areas or the large trees along bodies of water, particularly those who don’t freeze during winter. One of Europe’s first ornithologists, Henry Seebohm, named it after the English naturalist Thomas Blakiston as he is the first to collect the specimen in Hokkaidō, Japan in 1883.

It is the largest living owl species. Studies show that males weigh approximately 2.95 to 3.6 kg while females weigh around 2.95 to 4.6 kg. Because of its natural habitat, it mainly feeds on aquatic prey. These include big fishes such as salmon, catfishes, trouts, and pikes. Breeding activity does not occur every year but when it does, courtship occurs between January and February. If successful, one to three eggs will be laid in March. Its noises are short and deep-pitched, which sounds like “boo-boo-voo”.

Hunting, habitat loss, and man-made activities all contribute to its population decline. Continued deforestation leads to lack of suitable nesting sites that are safe from predators and other types of disturbances. Fragmented forest areas also means limited food sources. Construction of roads, buildings, and residential areas makes it vulnerable to accidental deaths by cars and power lines.