Spot Bellied Eagle Owl

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    Context

    • A wildlife team has recently spotted the ‘Spot Bellied Eagle Owl’ (Bubo Nipalensis) for the first time in the Seshachalam forest, and for the third time in Andhra Pradesh.

    About Spot Bellied Eagle Owl

    • Features: 
      • It is overall a stark, grayish-brown bird, with dark, coarse brown coloration over the back and upper wings. It is a large bird of prey and is also known as the forest eagle-owl.    
      • It is a very powerful and bold predatory owl.
      • The bird makes a strange scream similar to humans and it is hence called the ‘Ghost of the Forest’ in India and ‘Devil Bird’.
    • Habitat:  
      • Mostly found in dense, evergreen forests or moist deciduous forests 
    • Distribution
      • They are found throughout the Indian subcontinent and peninsular Southeast Asia.
      • It is distributed through the Lower Himalayas from Kumaon east to Myanmar, central Laos, and central Vietnam.
    • Conservation Status:
      • IUCN Status: Least Concern
      • CITES status: Appendix II

    Seshachalam Hills

    • Seshachalam Hills are the hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats, southern Andhra Pradesh state, and southeastern India.
    • They are bounded by the Rayalaseema uplands in the west and northwest and the Nandyal Valley (formed by the Kunderu River) in the northeast. 
    • Minerals contained in these hills include sandstone and shale interbedded with limestone. 
    • The hills contain seven peaks namely, Anjanadri, Garudadri, Narayanadri, Neeladri, Seshadri, Venkatadri, and Vrishabhadri.
    • Tirupati, a major Hindu pilgrimage town is located in the hills.

    Source: TH