African spotted eagle-owl, African eagle-owl, Spotted eagle-owl, African spotted eagle-owl, African eagle-owl
The spotted eagle-owl (Bubo africanus ; also known as the African spotted eagle-owl and the African eagle-owl) is a medium-sized species of owl, one of the smallest of the eagle owls. Its length is 45 centimetres (18 in) and its weight is from 454 to 907 grams (1.0 to 2.0 lb). It has a 100 to 140 centimetres (39 to 55 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 greyish eagle-owl, but now it is classed as a separate species.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Generally solitary animals are those animals that spend their time separately but will gather at foraging areas or sleep in the same location or sh...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Spotted eagle-owls are medium-sized birds that have a distinctive appearance with prominent ‘ear tufts’ on the tops of their heads which all eagle owls have. The facial disk is off white to pale ochre and their eyes are yellow. The upper body is dusky brown in color while the lower parts are off-white with brown bars.
Spotted eagle-owls are found in Sub-Saharan Africa from Kenya and Uganda south to the Western Cape in South Africa. They also occur in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Yemen. These birds live in various habitats including dry forests, woodlands, savannahs and grasslands, shrublands, semi-deserts and rocky hills.
Spotted eagle-owls are generally solitary birds. During the day they roost in trees, rock crevices, caves, under bushes, or sometimes even in abandoned burrows. Pairs may sometimes roost together, engaging in mutual preening. Spotted eagle-owls are nocturnal hunters; they usually hunt by swooping down toward the prey and either catch it directly or pursue it on foot. An adult pair is typically very aggressive in defense of its hunting territory. When the female cannot leave the nest the male will hunt and bring her food. 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. Spotted eagle-owls communicate vocally. Their 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. In a comfortable social situation, the owlets have a soft croaking "kreeep" that they repeat for a few seconds.
Spotted eagle-owls have a carnivorous diet and feed on small mammals, birds, insects, frogs, and reptiles.
Spotted eagle-owls are monogamous and pairs mate for life. Breeding begins in July continuing to the first weeks of February. The pair constructs a nest, usually on the ground, hidden in the grass, amongst rocks, or under a bush. The female lays two to four eggs and does the incubation, leaving the nest only to eat what the male has brought for food. The incubation period lasts approximately 32 days. Upon hatching, owlets are blind and will open their eyes 7 days later. Owlets start to leave the nest and wondering around when they are 4-6 weeks old and will able to fly at 7 weeks. They usually remain with parents for another 5 weeks and become reproductively mature one year after fledging.
Electric wires and shortage of suitable prey in populated areas are major threats to Spotted eagle-owls, particularly to fledglings. These birds also suffer from road mortality as they often hunt near roads.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Spotted eagle-owl total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.