Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bubo Africanus (The Spotted Eagle Owl)

45 cm. Off white to pale orche facial disk, yellow eyes, prominent ear tufts, and the upper body is dusky brown, the lower parts off-white with brown bars.



These beautiful birds are mostly found in rocky outcrops, scrub land, open woods and semi deserts.

The bird hisses and clicks when alarmed and is often in gardens.

The diets includes small mamals, birds, insects and reptiles.

Their nest is made on the ground though they have been known to nests on window edges of buildings. Breeding begins in July continuing to the first weeks of February. 2-4 eggs area laid and incubated by the female for about 32 days. The female leaves the nest only to eat what the male has brought food. The young owls can fly at around seven weeks of age. Five weeks later, the young owls leave the nest.

 


Namibia's most famous park is not only the best game viewing spot in the country, it is also one of the top birding spots and a 2-4 day visit will almost guarantee great results. The park is brilliant for raptors especially Martial and Tawny Eagles, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagles, Lanner, Peregrine and Red-necked Falcons, Pale-chanting and Gabar Goshawks.
Scan the top of the huge Sociable Weaver nests for African Pygmy-falcon. Etosha is brilliant for owls with sightings of Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Scops-owl, Southern White-faced Owlet, Barn Owl, Verreaux's Eagle-owl and Spotted Eagle-owl fairly common. The flat open plains of the western section are good for Lark-like Bunting, Pink-billed, Sabota, Red-capped and Spike-heeled Larks, Grey-backed Sparrow-lark, Namaqua and Double-banded Sandgrouse, Double-banded and Temminck's Coursers.
The open acacia savannahs are good for Crimson-breasted Shrike, Great Sparrow, Violet-eared Waxbill, Southern Pied Babbler, Red-headed Finch, Kori Bustard, Scaly-feathered Finch, Marico Flycatcher, Namaqua Dove and Blue Crane. The woodland sections of the middle and eastern parts holds specials like Bare-cheeked and Black-faced Babbler, Violet Woodhoopoe and Carps Black Tit. When the Etosha pan fills up with water after very good rainy seasons it becomes a water bird paradise. Huge numbers of lesser and Greater Flamingos, Great White Pelicans, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes, Caspian Plovers, Cape and Red-billed Teals and a number of rarities congregate on and around the pan.

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