Spotted Eagle Owl

June 29, 2015
Spotted Eagle Owl at Gondwana

I heard a beautiful bird call at Kwena lodge recently and after following the sound I managed to spot this majestic silent hunter, The Spotted Eagle Owl.

Hunting usually starts at dusk after a couple of hooting calls. They feed on mammals from small rodents and shrews up to the size of hares to birds, reptiles, frogs, scorpions, crabs and larger insects. Their feathers contain little hairs all over which dampen the sound which makes them completely silent in flight

They normally breed once a year, sometimes only on alternate years. Eagle Owls are territorial birds, with relatively large territories. The male advertises the occupied territory by singing. During courtship, the male bows up and down in front of the upright, silent female and utters rhythmic hoots by displaying it’s inflated white throat in rapid sequence. The nest site is a shallow scrape on a sheltered rock ledge, or in a cave entrance, between rocks or even on the ground under a bush. They are also known to mate for life.

Hopefully this Eagle Owl will make Kwena Lodge it’s permanent territory.

Written by Field guide, – Salomon Mallik

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