Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.31(2). (2023) p.226-235.

Diet of Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Bubo ascalaphus, from Ara’r region, northern Saudi Arabia
Abdul Rahman Al Ghamdi, Talal Alshammary, Fahad Al Gethami, Ahmad Al Boug, Sharif Al Jbour, Mohammad A. Abu Baker & Zuhair S. Amr

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The diet of the Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Bubo ascalaphus, was investigated based on 338 pellets collected from caves and underground caves in Ara’r region, northern Saudi Arabia. Small mammals constituted the highest number of consumed prey (75.75%), followed by arthropods (20%), birds (2.9%) and reptiles (1.26%). The Libyan Jird, Meriones libycus, was the most consumed rodent (26.46%) followed by Sundevall’s Jird, Meriones crassus (20.47%), while the least were Cheesman Gerbil, Gerbillus cheesmani, and Wagner’s Gerbil, Gerbillus dasyurus. At least three species of scorpions, Androctonus crassicauda, Compsbuthus sp. and Scorpio sp., and two species of reptiles (Ptyodactylus hasselquistii and Trapellus agnetae) were recovered. Study of owl pellet contents proved to be a valuable tool to study species composition in unexplored regions. Also, our findings substantiate the fact that the Pharaoh Eagle-Owl is an opportunistic species that adapts to available preys in its habitat.