Owls

Screech or Hoot

©Nigel Dennis
Pel's fishig owl (Scotopelia peli) - a whistling owl.
©Shem Compion
Juvenile barn owl (Tyto alba) inside its nest - a screeching owl.

Owls are divided into two main groups or families, the Strigidae and Tytonidae. The tytonids are screeching owls and include the grass and barn owls in southern Africa. These owls have long slender bills, smaller, dark eyes and a pectinate claw for preening. The strigids include all other owls and either hoot or have a whistled call. They have enormous eyes, stouter bills and no pectinate claw.

African Wood Owl

The African wood owl is a medium sized owl at 33 cm. The wood owl has a typical owl like rounded head and facial disk, with large dark eyes and white eyebrows....more

How Do Owls Hunt?

Owls do not essentially have better eyes than humans in that they can see the same spectrum of light that we can....more

Pearl-spotted Owlet

Pearl-spotted owls are one of Southern Africa’s smallest owls. They are only 18–19 cm and do not have ‘ear’ tufts. They have cinnamon brown heads with off-white facial disks. The upper parts are brown with numerous...more

Scops Owl

It is larger than the African scops owl (Otus senegalensis) and has orange not yellow eyes. This scops owl is mostly resident throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara....more

Verreaux's Eagle Owl

The eagle owl is seen alone or in pairs and mainly from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa northwards. They are found along tree lining drainage lines and watercourses....more