SpacerSpacerSpacer
Shadow
my I Dream Africa
  Register
     Why Register? Forgot my password
I Dream Africa provides a comprehensive directory of activities, hot spots, top locations etc. in Namibia. Combined with the directory, I Dream Africa also provides tour packages allowing clients to experience Namibia at its best.
Owl
Sig shot
4x4 Guided Self Drive
Namibia is a perfect starting po...
4x4 Guided Self Drive
4x4 Self Drive
Namibia is a perfect starting po...
4x4 Self Drive
4x4 Self Drive - Namibian Deserts
Namibia's deserts offer the ...
4x4 Self Drive - Namibian Deserts
Namibia Wild Fishing Challenge
One on one in an epic battle bet...
Namibia Wild Fishing Challenge

Shadow
Shadow
Shadow
Spacer Spacer
Spacer Spacer

Owl

Font Size Increase Font Size Decrease Print Page Send to Friend Add to Favorites

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Namibia.

African Grass-owl Tyto capensis


Grass Owl chick rescued from a veld fire and rehabilitated onto Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in the Gauteng province of South Africa

The African Grass-owl (Tyto capensis) is a species of owl in the Tytonidae family. It is found in Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The African Grass Owl Tyto capensis is considered Vulnerable in South Africa, with between 1 000 and 5 000 birds remaining in this country (Barnes (ed.), 2000). The species is extirpated in south-western South Africa and Lesotho, and the combined pressure from development; fire mismanagement; land clearing for agriculture; overgrazing; afforestation and roadkill are of serious concern for the species (Ansara, 2004).

Grass Owls differ in appearance from their cousins the Barn Owl in being larger, with stronger contrast between the upper and lower body. The upperparts are dark brown and the underparts whitish. The face is also rounder than that of the Barn Owl.

Barn Owl Tyto alba

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is also referred to as Common Barn Owl, to distinguish it from other species in the barn-owl family Tytonidae. These form one of two main lineages of living owls, the other being the typical owls (Strigidae). T. alba is found almost anywhere in the world except polar and desert regions, Asia north of the Alpide belt, most of Indonesia, and the Pacific islands.[1]

It is known by many other names, which may refer to the appearance, call, habitat or the eerie, silent flight: White Owl, Silver Owl, Demon Owl, Ghost Owl, Death Owl, Night Owl, Rat Owl, Church Owl, Cave Owl, Stone Owl, Monkey-faced Owl, Hissing Owl, Hobgoblin or Hobby Owl, Dobby Owl, Golden Owl, Scritch Owl, Screech Owl, Straw Owl, Barnyard Owl and Delicate Owl. "Golden Owl" might also refer to the related Golden Masked Owl (T. aurantia). "Hissing Owl" and, particularly in the USA, "screech owl", referring to the piercing calls of these birds. The latter name, however, more correctly applies to a different group of birds, the screech-owls in the genus Megascops. The barn owl's scientific name, established by G.A. Scopoli in 1769, literally means "white owl", from the onomatopoetic Ancient Greek tyto (τυτο) for an owl—compare English "hooter"—and Latin alba, "white".

The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. Depending on subspecies, it measures about 25–45 cm in overall length, with a wingspan of some 75–110 cm. Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs. The light face with its heart shape and the black eyes give the flying bird an odd and startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose.

Its head and upper body typically vary between a light brown and a dark grey (especially on the forehead and back) feathers in most subspecies. Some are purer, richer brown instead, and all have fine black-and-white speckles except on the remiges and rectrices, which are light brown with darker bands. The heart-shaped face is usually bright white, but in some subspecies it is browner. The underparts (including the tarsometatarsus feathers) vary from white to reddish buff among the subspecies, and are either mostly unpatterned or bear a varying amount of tiny blackish-brown speckles. It was found that at least in the continental European populations, females with more spotting are healthier on average. This does not hold true for European males by contrast, where the spotting varies according to subspecies. The bill varies from pale horn to dark buff, corresponding to the general plumage hue. The iris is blackish brown. The toes, as the bill, vary in color; their color ranges from pinkish to dark pinkish-grey. The talons are black.[4]

Contrary to popular belief, it does not hoot (such calls are made by typical owls, like the Tawny Owl or other Strix). It instead produces the characteristic shree scream, ear-shattering at close range. Males in courtship give a shrill twitter. It can hiss like a snake to scare away intruders, and when captured or cornered, it throws itself on its back and flails with sharp-taloned feet, making for an effective defense. Also given in such situations is a rasp and a clicking snap, produced by the bill or possibly the tongue. It is most recognizable by its "mask-like" face.

It hunts by flying low and slowly over an area of open ground, hovering over spots that conceal potential prey. They may also use fence posts or other lookouts to ambush prey. The Barn Owl feeds primarily on small vertebrates, particularly rodents.

The diet is supplemented with local small vertebrate and large invertebrate life. A Barn Owl will eat anything it can subdue and that is more than a beakful, from small invertebrates weighing less than 0.05 grams to birds weighing as much as the owl itself, like the Spotted Nothura (Nothura maculosa). Small prey is usually torn into chunks and eaten completely with bones and all, while prey larger of about 100 g or more (such as baby rabbits, Cryptomys blesmols or Otomys vlei rats) is usually dismembered and the inedible parts discarded. Contrary to what is sometimes assumed, the Barn Owl does not eat domestic animals on any sort of regular basis; it might snatch a young chicken or guinea pig once or twice in its life, if at all. Regionally, different foods outside of rodents are utilized as per availability.

The Barn Owl has acute hearing, with ears placed asymmetrically for improved detection of sound position and distance, and it does not require sight to hunt. Hunting nocturnally or crepuscularly, it can target and dive down, penetrating its talons through snow, grass or brush to seize rodents with deadly accuracy. Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. This makes the Barn Owl one of the most economically valuable wildlife animals to farmers. Farmers often find these owls more effective than poison in keeping down rodent pests, and they can encourage Barn Owl habitation by providing nest sites.[15]

TYPICAL OWLS

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Namibia.

African Scops Owl Otus senegalensis


The African Scops Owl (Otus senegalensis) is a small owl endemic to sub-Saharan Africa.

The African Scops Owl has a distinctive "prrrp" call which occurs around every 5 seconds.

Southern White-faced Owl Ptilopsis granti


The Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti) is a fairly small owl in the family Strigidae. It is native to the southern half of Africa. It was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Northern White-faced Owl (P. leucopsis) but the two are now commonly treated as separate species.

It is 22-28 centimetres long and weighs 185-220 grams. The upperparts are grey with dark streaks and there are white spots on the scapular feathers. The underparts are whitish with dark streaks. The face is white with a black border and black around the large orange eyes. The head has two short "ear" tufts with black tips. Juvenile birds have a greyish face. The Northern White-faced Owl is usually paler and browner with reduced streaking below.

The call is a series of fast, bubbling hoots. It is uttered at night and frequently repeated. The Northern White-faced Owl has a very different two-note call.

Its range extends from Gabon eastwards to southern Kenya and southwards to Namibia and northern South Africa. It inhabits savanna and dry woodland. It is usually seen alone or in pairs. It hunts for large invertebrates and some small mammals, birds and reptiles are also taken.

The eggs are usually laid in the old nest of another bird. The clutch contains two or three eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. The young birds leave the nest about a month after hatching.

The owl has the magnificent ability to modify its appearance in times of danger or threat. It may enlarge its body to ward off other owls, or it may make itself appear shrivelled to camouflage itself as a tree trunk or branch.

Cape Eagle-owl Bubo capensis

The Cape Eagle-owl (Bubo capensis) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. It is found in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

There are three subspecies: capensis (South Africa and extreme southern Namibia), mackinderi (western Mozambique and Zimbabwe to west-central Kenya), and dilloni (the Ethiopian highlands and southern Eritrea). The distribution of all three is patchy. The subspecies mackinderi, which is slightly bigger than the others, is sometimes split as Mackinder's Eagle-owl, Bubo mackinderi.

Spotted Eagle-owl Bubo africanus


The Spotted Eagle-owl (Bubo africanus) is a medium-sized species of owl, one of the smallest of the Eagle owls. Its height is forty-five cm (18 inch) and its weight is from 480 to 850g (1 to 1.8 pounds). It has a 33cm (13 in) wingspan. The facial disk is off white to pale ochre and the eyes are yellow. It has prominent ear tufts, and the upper body is dusky brown, the lower parts off-white with brown bars. Prior to 1999 the Spotted Eagle-owl was considered conspecific with the Vermiculated Eagle-owl, but now it is classed as a separate species.

Its prey consists of small mammals, birds, insects, frogs, and reptiles. It often swallows quite large prey whole, with much head-jerking, and if the object is really challenging, pausing and resting with the mouth full. Prey too large for such treatment it will tear in the normal raptorial fashion, and it also tears shreds off prey to feed nestlings. They male will hunt and bring food when the female cannot leave the nest. Sometimes, even in conditions verging on starvation, he will tear the head off a mouse, but bring the body for the female to feed to the young, or to eat herself if the eggs have not yet hatched. The species is a non-specialised feeder, in contrast to say, the barn owls (Tyto) and is accordingly itinerant, remaining in a given region to hunt for a few weeks or months, then moving on when the local prey is no longer plentiful or easy to catch. Typically it will return at odd intervals of a year or two, depending on local conditions. An adult pair is typically very aggressive in defence of its hunting territory, and one obstacle for an adolescent to overcome is to find good feeding grounds where there are no incumbent adults to eject or kill it.

The calls are generally typical, musical Eagle-owl hoots. Generally the male call with two hoots: "Hooo hooopoooo" and the female answers with three, with less stress on the middle note: "Hooo hoo hooo". The young do not hoot till effectively adult, but from a very young age they will hiss threateningly and snap their beaks castanet-like if alarmed. These sounds they make throughout life, generally in a threatening attitude with head down and wings spread sideways to present their upper surfaces forward, umbrella-like. They might present such behaviour either as a challenge to rival owls or when defending nest or young against enemies. The young at least have a whickering call of protest or annoyance when handled. In a comfortable social situation the youngsters have a soft croaking "kreeep" that they are prone to repeat at regular intervals of a few seconds. If they suspect that they have lost their company, the calls increase in frequency and they are likely to go hunting for their companions.

Verreaux's Eagle-owl Bubo lacteus

Verreaux's Eagle-owl, Bubo lacteus (also known as the Milky Eagle Owl, Giant Eagle Owl), is a member of the family Strigidae and is the largest African owl. This owl is claimed to be the world's third largest owl; after the Blakiston's Fish Owl and Eurasian Eagle Owl.

Verreaux's Eagle-owl ranges from 66–75 cm in length. This species can attain a wingspan 2 m and weighs from 1600 to 3115 grams. In appearance, they are distinguished by a whitish oval disk face with a black border, pink eyelids, orange eyes and two feather tufts on their ears. Their feathers are dark brown on top and light grey below.

They are nocturnal birds and roost in tall trees. They sleep lightly and will awaken very quickly to defend themselves from attack in daylight hours.

They hunt in early evening. Full-grown owls feed on hares, mongoose and many other small game animals. They are one of the very few birds to feed on hedgehogs.[4] Near cities their prey include rats and pigeons.

Pel's Fishing-owl Scotopelia peli

The Pel's Fishing-owl (Scotopelia peli) is a large species of owl in the Strigidae family. It feeds nocturnally on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of lakes and rivers. The species prefers slow moving rivers with large overhanging trees to roost and forage from.[2] It nests in hollows and the forks of large trees. Though two eggs are laid, only one chick is raised.

It is found throughout a large part of sub-Saharan Africa, but it is generally rather local, uncommon and absent from drier regions. Adults are rich ginger-rufous with dense dark bars to the upperparts and scaling to the underparts. The two related African fish-owls are smaller and lack the dark barring and scaling (though they do have dark streaks below). Juveniles are more uniform buff than adults. Unlike the eagle-owls, the ear tufts of the Pel's Fishing-owl are barely visible, giving it a very round-headed appearance.

African Wood Owl Strix woodfordii

The African Wood Owl, Strix woodfordii, is a medium-sized owl with dark eyes and no ear tufts. It is 30 to 36 cm long and weighs from 240 to 350 grams. It lives in Africa from Senegambia to Sudan and south to Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and on the east coast to South Africa. It lives mainly in forest and woodland though it sometimes inhabits plantations. It eats mostly insects but will also eat reptiles, small mammals, and other birds. It breeds from July to October and lays 1 to 3 eggs in a hollow in a tree. It will then incubate the eggs for about 31 days. Five weeks after the eggs hatch, the young will leave the nest and can fly 2 weeks later. The young will remain with the parents for about four months and will sometimes stay till the next breeding season. Its call is a loud series of fast hoots. It is not threatened and is common in almost all of its range.

Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum

The Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) is an owl which breeds in Africa south of the Sahara. This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.

Pearl-spotted Owlet is a common and easily seen bird in open woodland and savannah. It nests in a hole in a tree, such as a disused barbet nest, laying 2-4 eggs.

The Pearl-spotted Owlet is small (19cm) and stocky, with a longish tail. The upperparts are rich brown, heavily spotted with white. The underparts are white, streaked with brown. The facial disc is white and the eyes are yellow. There are two eyespots on the nape.

Sexes are similar, but young birds are paler with a shorter tail. The flight is deeply undulating.

This species often hunts by day, and can be readily located by the small birds that mob it while it is perched in a tree. It hunts a variety of small prey. The call is a whistled tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu.

African Barred Owlet Glaucidium capense

The African Barred Owlet (Glaucidium capense) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is a small owl with no ear tufts. There is some sexual dimorphism in size, with the females being larger, but no differences in plumage.
The species is most frequently found in woodland and forests, and on forest edges. It may also occur in more open savannah and along rivers. It is partly diurnal, and feeds mostly on insects, although small rodents and birds may also be eaten.

Marsh Owl Asio capensis


The Marsh Owl, Asio capensis, is a species of owl which is a mainly resident breeder in Africa and Madagascar.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.
Marsh Owl nests on the ground on open marshy areas, laying 2-4 eggs amongst tussocks.

It hunts over open country, often by day. Its food is mainly insects, but it will take small mammals, such as rodents and birds.

The Marsh Owl is 35-37 cm in length with an 82-99 cm wingspan. It is similar to the slightly larger Short-eared Owl. It has yellow eyes with a black iris, and short ear-tufts which are not usually visible. It is distinguished from its relative by its dark brown plumage, and almost unstreaked upperparts. It is long winged, and glides slowly on stiff wings when hunting. It will often perch on the ground or low posts.

The call is a frog-like kaar or rasping whistle "shrss"

Spacer
Add to Wish List
Add to Wish List
Spacer
Send Enquiry
Contact Us
Spacer
Send Enquiry
Share this page
Spacer  
   
Spacer  
Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer

Random Owl Images

Spacer
Eagle Owl Barred Owl African Scops Owl Southern White Faced Owl
Spacer
View images in Owl Gallery
 
Spacer  
Spacer Spacer Spacer
People Who Looked at

People who looked at "Owl" also looked at...

Expand People who looked at
 
Spacer  
You have 0 items in your wishlist. View all items in your wishlist
Enquire Now
News and Updates
In the Media
Newsletter
Recently Viewed
Top 10
Namibian Hightlights
Preparing for Namibia
Namibian Facts

Shadow
Shadow
Shadow
Spacer Spacer Spacer
   Designed and Developed by ProDG, maintained by iWits Web Development   Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer | Site Map   
Shadow