Pel's Fishing Owl

Introduction: Pel's fishing owl (Scotopelia peli) is named after HS Pel, a Dutch government official of the Gold Coast (Ghana) from 1840 to 1850. They inhabit extensive swamps, broad, tropical rivers with large shady trees and will concentrate around swimming pools in periods of drought.

Distribution: Much sought after bird in the Caprivi and Mahango National Park. High density numbers in the Okavango Delta.

Diet: Strikes long and low over the water or drops into the water for mainly fish, especially catfish, bream and pike. Will take (very)young crocs and sometimes crabs and mussels.

Description: Medium-sized to large owls with unimpressive facial discs, powerful feet and bills and long curved claws adapted for grasping fish prey. Scotopelia is Greek for scotos (darkness) and peli (black) referring to their large 'black' eyes.

Breeding: Females lay 1 or 2 eggs from January to June with an incubation period of around 35 days. Nests are usually cavities in trees or at the junction of a branches high above the ground.

Size: 63cm.

Weight: 2.2kg.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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