The Spotted Eagle Owl
This Owl is one of the most commonly seen Owls on Kapama. They are nocturnal birds and take no offense at being viewed at night. They are medium sized birds with distinctive ear tufts and yellow eyes. Their ear tufts are for show and serve no real purpose. This bird of prey’s main diet is Invertebrates, small mammals, birds and reptiles. They prefer open scrub and low grassland – where there are suitable roosting posts! You may even find them in South African cities and towns.
Owls have developed special feather adaptations that enable them to minimize the sound made when flapping their wings:-
The leading edges of their primary feathers have stiff fringes that reduce noise whilst the trailing edges of their primaries have soft fringes that help to reduce turbulence.
There are many legends and myths surrounding these birds. On old Cape farms it was believed that if a Spotted Eagle Owl roosted on your roof at night, it would surely mean a death in the family. It didn’t matter where these deaths occurred, even in the next province; the poor old Owl always got the blame. The “hu-hoo” call can sound a bit ghostly!
Today we are again fortunate with warm weather and sunny skies with a forecast high of 26degC.
Ranger Story: Hailey Bunge (Kapama River Lodge Ranger)