The Eagle Owl is a very large and powerful bird, smaller than the Golden Eagle but larger than the Snowy Owl. It is sometimes referred to as the world's largest owl. The great size, bulky, barrel-shaped build, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females. The upperparts may brown-black to tawny-buff to pale creamy gray, typically showing as dense freckling on the forehead and crown, stripes on the nape, sides and back of the neck, and dark splotches on the pale ground colour of the back, mantle and scapulars. A narrow buff band, freckled with brown or buff, often runs up from the base of the bill, above the inner part of the eye and along the inner edge of the black-brown ear tufts. The rump and upper tail-coverts are delicately patterned with dark vermiculations and fine wavy barring. The facial disc is tawny-buff, speckled with black-brown, so densely on the outer edge of the disc as to form a 'frame' around the face. The chin and throat are white continuing down the center of the upper breast.