What Owl

In Clarens and its surroundings, there are five different owl species with the Spotted Eagle-Owl being the most common.

The other species are:

Western Barn Owl

African Grass-Owl

Marsh Owl

Cape Eagle-Owl

Spotted Eagle Owl

Height: Male 43cm, Female 47cm Weight: Male 540g, Female 995g 

Identification: A large owl with conspicuous “ear” tufts. Primarily grey and spotted white above, finely barred below and their eyes are yellow.

Voice: Deep two-part hoot, pairs often calling in duet, some bill clacking and hissing when threatened.

Distribution: Throughout South Africa, central Africa, southern Kenya and DRC.

Status: Resident. It is the most common large “eared” owl in the region. 

Habitat: Rocky areas, woodland, forest edge, towns/cities and semi-desert. 

Habits: Solitary or in pairs. Nocturnal, by day will roost in a tree or on a rocky ledge. It hunts from a perch anddrops onto the prey. Also commonly perches on fence posts, telephone poles and often hunts insects infloodlights. 

Food: Eats mostly rodents in urban areas, also invertebrates, birds, reptiles, bats, snails, crabs, millipedes and snakes.

Breeding: Mainly August to October. Clutch: 2-3 eggs. 

Incubation: 30-32 days by female only. 

Nestling: 40 days. The chicks usually spend 10 days on the ground before fledging. Post-nestling dependence is 5 weeks after which they will gradually disperse.

The owls will readily take to artificial nesting boxes.