African Spotted Eagle Owl

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African Spotted Eagle Owl Natural History

 

Size.

These owls reach a length of approximately 45cm attaining weights of 480g to 850g.

Habitat and Distribution.

These birds can be found dotted around all of Africa south of the equator to the Arabian peninsula. They cover a variety of arid habitats from scrubland and woodland through to savannah and desert.

Age.

Their wild life span is approximately 10 years, whilst they have been recorded living to 20 years in captivity.

Diet.

Due to the arid nature of their distribution they have to feed on a large variety of prey including birds, reptile and vertebrates, with young birds sometimes also having large invertebrates as part of their diet.

Groups and Breeding.

During July through to February these birds will nest on the ground laying 2 to 4 eggs which take around 32 days to incubate. Even though they are fairly solitary for most of the year the male will stay with the female to help her feed the young until the fledge.

Threats.

These birds are common throughout their range and not threatened by either predation or human settlement.  On the IUCN red list the African spotted eagle owl is listed as least concern.

Interesting facts.

The major cause of death for this species is through the passing on of pesticides from the prey (which may be rats, mice, large invertebrates etc.) to the owl.

 

African Spotted Eagle Owls at Wingham Wildlife Park

 

The African spotted eagle owls (along with the rest of our birds of prey) are some of the oldest animals at our park, and many of them are the last remaining animals from when Wingham Wildlife Park was still known as Wingham Bird Park.  To mimic their natural diet they are fed day old chicks in captivity, which are fed defrosted on a daily basis.