African Owls

Africa is home to more than 30 species of owl including some that eat fish. As in Asia, new species are still being discovered.

There is evidence of owls in Africa going back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians, including tomb paintings and mummified remains. An owl motif appears in Egyptian hieroglyphics. African folklore portrays owls as possessed by demons or as harbingers of death, a superstition that persists to this day.

Such beliefs pose some of the continent’s greatest conservation challenges, and conservationists must challenge them and gain community support if their work is to be successful. Other areas of Africa, however, have a strong conservation tradition.

Here are the African owls that we have at the sanctuary:

Vermiculated Eagle Owl

Vermiculated Eagle Owl (Bubo cinerascens)

Vermiculated Eagle Owl (Bubo cinerascens)

Scientific name: Bubo cinerascens
Height: 430mm
Geographical distribution: northern part of sub-Saharan Africa from Mauretania and Liberia east to Sudan and Somalia.

Habitat: dry rocky deserts and open savannah, as well as lowland forests in Somalia.
Diet: small mammals, birds, insects, frogs, and reptiles.
Status: locally not uncommon:

Here is the name of the Vermiculated Eagle owl we have at the sanctuary:

DOTTIE

Woodford’s Owl

BUNDI - Woodfords owl (Strix woodfordii)

BUNDI – Woodfords owl (Strix woodfordii)

Scientific Name: Strix woodfordii
Height: 300mm to 360mm
Habitat: Forest and woodland also plantations                    

Diet: Mainly insects but also reptiles, small mammals and birds
Status: Not globally threatened. Very common in most of its range
Geographical Distribution: S Angola, S Zaire and SW Tanzania to the Cape

Here is the name of the Woodford’s owl we have at the sanctuary:

BUNDI

African Spotted Eagle Owl

Loveness - African spotted eagle owl (Bubo africanus)

Loveness – African spotted eagle owl (Bubo africanus)

Scientific name: Bubo africanus
Height: 450mm
Geographical distribution: Africa south of the Sahara, Arabia

Habitat: savanna and light woodland
Diet: insects, small mammals and birds. Also reptiles, scorpions, crabs, snails and frogs
Status: frequent to scarce

Here are the names of the African Spotted Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:

STEPHANIE
LOVENESS
RIDCULLY

Mackinder’s Eagle Owl

Mackinder’s eagle owl (Bubo capensis mackinderi)

Mackinder’s eagle owl (Bubo capensis mackinderi)

Scientific name: Bubo capensis mackinderi
Height: 500mm to 580mm
Geographical distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya and south to Zimbabwe

Habitat: mountains, high woodlands
Diet: a large variety of small- and medium-sized creatures and birds including owls, reptiles, scorpions, crabs, grasshoppers, beetles and frogs
Status: widespread but scarce and locally threatened

Here are the names of the Mackinder’s Eagle owls we have at the sanctuary:

MAKUMBA
MOLLY

White-faced Scops Owl

KANYA - White-faced scops owl (Ptilopsis leucotis)

KANYA – White-faced scops owl (Ptilopsis leucotis)

Scientific name: Ptilopsis leucotis
Height: 190mm to 240mm
Geographical distribution: south of the Sahara desert

Habitat: thorn scrub, savannah woodland
Diet: large insects, scorpions, small rodents and occasionally small birds
Status: scarce

Here are the names of the White-faced Scops owls we have at the sanctuary:

KANYA
BHOTAWHELIA
BUBBLES

Milky Eagle Owl

MEGAN - Milky eagle owl (Bubo lacteus)

MEGAN – Milky eagle owl (Bubo lacteus)

Common name: Verreaux Eagle Owl/Milky Owl
Scientific name: Bubo lacteus
Height: 600mm to 650mm

Geographical distribution: south of the Sahara desert
Habitat: woodland, bushveld
Diet: birds including other owls, bats, hedgehogs and a variety of animals
Status: Widespread, scarce and locally threatened

Here is the name of the Milky Eagle owl we have at the sanctuary:

MEGAN