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It is found in the northern part of sub-Saharan Africa from Mauretania and Liberia east to Sudan and Somalia. Its habitats include dry rocky deserts and open savannah, as well as lowland forests in Somalia.
This species is about 43 centimetres (17 in) long and weighs about 500 grams (1.1 lb). Like the spotted eagle-owl, the greyish eagle-owl has mottled dark brown, buff, and white upperparts and finely barred (vermiculated) underparts giving a greyish-brown appearance. It differs from the spotted eagle-owl in having dark brown (not yellow) eyes and a brownish facial disk marked with a heavy brown circle around each eye. It also has morphological differences, such as being lighter though about the same length and having shorter tarsi. In the area of overlap, the spotted eagle-owl and the present species are not known to interbreed.
- Zimmerman, Dale A.; Turner, Donald A.; Pearson, David J. (1999), Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania, Princeton University Press, pp. 128–9, 374, ISBN 978-0-691-01022-9
- Lepage, Denis (2003–2007), Avibase - the world bird database, retrieved Sep 22, 2007
- Weick, Friedhelm (2006), Owls (Strigiformes): Annotated and Illustrated Checklist, Springer, pp. 111–113, ISBN 978-3-540-35234-1