CREATION: THE WORLD AROUND US – SONY 2017 Photography Awards | 2nd Place National Award | Photo by Husain Hakim Alfraid
A Pharaoh eagle-owl, sitting in her nest and enjoying the shade on a sunny day. This nest is quite typical for the Pharaoh eagle-owl, which makes its home in crevices or among rocks, possibly due to the lack of trees in a desert environment, but such locations also provide a convenient food source if any critters unwittingly run into their abodes.
The Pharaoh eagle-owl is a medium sized bird that can grow to about 18 or 20 inches; females tend to be a little bit larger. They are nocturnal and subsist on a wide variety of prey such as snakes, mammals, other birds and bugs. While they do not mate for life, they are monogamous and form lasting bonds that can continue beyond one mating season. Both parents share the responsibility of feeding their offspring, and the babies usually come two at a time, although it is not uncommon for the weaker offspring to perish.
Pharaoh eagle-owls can be found in most of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The birds are not wide travelers; they tend to stay within a 2-mile radius of their nests. While the population has not been quantified, the varied range of their habitat suggests that they are stable and in no danger. Indeed, they seem to have few, if any, predators and stand atop their respective food chain.
Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also lie down and find for themselves places of rest. The owl will nest there and lay eggs, she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of her wings; there also the falcons will gather, each with its mate.
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