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BiologyA nocturnal species, the booming call of the male pharaoh eagle-owl can often be heard at sunset, as foraging activity commences (4). This species is an efficient and opportunistic predator, exploiting almost any small animal that it can find (2). Hunting normally takes place over a range of about five square kilometres, with the owl usually alighting on a rocky perch, and using its acute hearing to detect prey movements before swooping down on its victim (2) (5). Small mammals are most commonly taken, but snakes, lizards, birds, beetles and scorpions may all feature in this species' diet (6). The pharaoh eagle-owl forms monogamous, lifelong breeding pairs, which mate in late winter, with egg-laying taking place in February and March (2). While nests are usually constructed in shallow scrapes amongst rocks or in crevices (2), incredibly, in Egypt this species has been recorded nesting on at least one of the pyramids (7). A clutch of two eggs is usually laid, which are incubated by the female for around 31 to 36 days, while the male brings food. The young leave the nest after 20 to 35 days, but may not fully fledge for another month, and may remain dependent on the parent birds until half a year old (2).