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Birds of Namibia

There are 3 families of the Order Strigiformes found in Namibia. They are the Family Tytonidae which are barn owls and grass owls, typical owls of the Family Strigidae and the Family Caprimulgidae which are nightjars.


Birds belonging to this family are barn owls and grass owls, slender, medium-sized, nocturnal birds. Males are usually larger than females and differ from typical owls because they have distinctive heart-shaped facial discs, relatively small eyes, a downward projecting bill, long inner claws and a middle toe with a pectinate (comb-like structure) claw. Their legs are long, wings long and slender and they hunt 'on the wing'. Females lay between 1 and 7 white eggs, incubated only by the female. There is just the 1 species from this family found in Namibia. It is the:


Family Strigidae are small to large typical owls with characteristic round facial discs. Males and females support similar plumages and females are usually larger than males. Their eyes are relatively large and their bills project forward. Their legs are stout and wings are covered in soft down which enables them to fly silently. Calls range from hoots and whistles to barking and grating sounds. They nest in tree holes or amongst rocks, on the ground or in other birds' nests. Females lay between 2 and 9 white eggs. There are 10 species of this family found in Namibia. They are:


Family Caprimulgidae are medium-sized, nightjars, active at dawn and dusk, feeding on aerial insectivores at night. A feature is their thin, loose skin. Males and females differ in plumage colouration, for example most male species having white patches on the throat. Their bills are small, legs and feet small and the wings long and slender. The tail is long in most species. Females usually lay 1 or 2 eggs laid directly on the ground with both sexes partaking in incubation and brooding of their chicks. The genus name Caprimulgus is an old English word for goat-sucker; that is 'to milk a goat from its wide open mouth and habit of foraging around animal pens at night, hunting insects attracted to livestock.' There are 7 species of this family found in Namibia. They are:

Fish River Lodge Hikes

5, 3 or 2 Days - hiking trails in the Fish River Canyon. Hikers carry a day pack and additional luggage is transported to the overnight stops

Mundulea Walking Trails

3 or 4 Days - Absolutely brilliant! One of the best experiences in Namibia

Tok Tokkie Hiking Trail

3 Days - Excellent guided walking trail on the NamibRand private reserve (near Sossusvlei)

Namib Mountain Trail

A day hike between two lodges on the very edge of the Namib Desert

Rostock Ritz Hiking

The Rostock Ritz Lodge north of Sossusvlei (en-route to Swakopmund) has a variety of guided and un-guided hikes ranging in duration from an hour to an entire day

Tsondab Valley Scenic Reserve Hiking

A lodge on the edge of the Namib Desert which offers exceptional hiking & walking

Namibia Safaris