Handbook of the Birds of the World: Barn Owls to Hummingbirds, Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition), Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide (Second Edition). Often, the male and female roost together. [4], The song of the male Pel's fishing owl is a deep, sonorous, horn-like boom, first a single and then a higher pitched huhuhu. The Pel's Fishing Owl is one of the largest African owls and does not have the ear tufts that are characteristic of many of the other owl species. All life history activity in the species occurs within striking distance of water. Females and older juveniles beg Pel's Fishing-Owl is a large ginger-brown owl without true ear-tufts. It lasts around 32 days and most likely The female does all incubation for around 32 days, while the male feeds her. indistinct rim. [4][5] It measures 51–63 cm (20–25 in) in length, spans around 153 cm (60 in) across the wings and weighs up to at least 2.35 kg (5.2 lb). The song phrases Weight 2055-2325g. Changes in water supply can have knock-on effects on the riverine forest in which Pel's fishing owl roosts and nests, and in some areas this habitat is being further degraded by wood-cutting and even by tree damage by large elephant populations. The largest of Africa’s fishing owls, the Pel’s is found in large trees along slow flowing rivers, pans and estuaries. It nests in hollows and the forks of large trees. Original Description: Bonaparte, Charles Lucien Jules Laurent. while fishing. While singing, the male's throat and breast are often highly inflated. The eyes are distinctly dark, often blackish in color. Of all the owl species found in Southern Africa the enigmatic and highly localised Pel’s Fishing Owl is unquestionably the most desirable and challenging of all to locate. averaging 62.5 x 52.1mm, and weighing around 85g. The two related fishing owls are smaller and lack the dark barring and scaling (though they do have dark streaks below). - Salonga National Park, central DR Congo. The species is largely residential and has no seasonal movement, although young, non-breeding birds may wander somewhat before claiming their own territories. The female lays the eggs when water's at its peak or starting to fall, so that brood feeding coincides with low water and concentrated prey. Conspectus generum avium, 1: p. 44. These consists of behaving as if injured, to draw the attention of potential predators, and penetrating screeches. In general, this species is nocturnal and is most vocally active on moonlit nights, especially near dawn. Similar to most owls, they do not add any nesting material. However, seldom, they will also take other aquatic animals such as frogs, crabs, mussels and large insects. When prey selection is good, populations can be quite dense. The teddy bear like owl is ginger coloured with large dark brown eyes. Description: Upperparts are rufous-brown with fine dusky barring, dark spots and some streaks. The species is found in Africa and lives near rivers and lakes. The calls of the male are repeated every 10 to 20 seconds and can be heard from up to 3 km (1.9 mi) away. with wailing cries - wheeoouu. During the daytime, they usually roost on a large tree branch. The female's call is similar but slightly higher pitched, ending in a double note. This large bird weighs between 2,055 and 2,325g. [16] Thus, the species is classified as least concern by the IUCN. It is found throughout a large part of sub-Saharan Africa, but it is generally rather local, uncommon and absent from drier regions. The female's songs are similar but are higher pitched and even in a double-note, i.e. Like diurnal raptors that specialize in fish, they have spiky scales on the bottoms of their feet that help them grip slippery fish. The species prefers slow moving rivers with large overhanging trees to roost and forage from. dark. The fish eagles and Verreaux's eagle-owls (Bubo lacteus) are perhaps the only predatory threat to this species, though encounters between the two large owls are likely very rare due to significantly different habitat preferences. Male and female birds communicate using hoots. Lower legs and toes are bare and pale straw coloured, with the soles having spicules instead of scales to help grip fish. 1850. [2] It nests in hollows and the forks of large trees. Unlike most owls, they have minimal feathering on the toes and the tarsus, thus minimizing the amount of plumage that gets wet while fishing. Photo Gallery (5 pictures) Size: Length 51-61cm. glides down to seize the fish in its talons, then swoops back up to a perch. Top 5 facts about Pel’s Fishing Owl: They don’t migrate on a seasonal basis and will only move to new territory if the food supply in their existing habitat becomes depleted. [3], Pel's fishing owl is one of the largest owl species in the world. If there is more than one egg, hatching occurs at 5-day intervals. the coast eastwards to eastern Congo and discontinuously to Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, from Congo patchily southward to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Central Africa from whoommmm-wot. It inhabits several countries of the African continent. Monogamous pairs claim territories close to water by intensive hooting, especially at the beginning of the breeding season. Young remain in the parental territory for 6-9 months, [1], Birds to watch in Namibia: red, rare and endemic species, Pel’s fishing-owl videos, photos and facts – Scotopelia peli, Bubo lacteus (Verreaux's eagle-owl, Giant eagle owl), Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pel%27s_fishing_owl&oldid=984697133, Taxonbars with automatically added original combinations, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 October 2020, at 15:26. Though as many as two eggs are laid, often only one chick is raised. It feeds nocturnally on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of lakes and rivers. At the first sight of danger to their offspring, both parents may engage in distraction displays. 1 or 2 white eggs are laid They can take fish weighing as much as 2 kg (4.4 lb) but the majority of fish caught are much smaller, usually weighing 100–200 g (3.5–7.1 oz). Males have a deep, reverberating call (hoom-hut) which can be heard up to three kilometres away! The two adult sexes are similar looking but females are generally less rufous in color and have a more indistinct facial disc. The head and nape have long feathers which the bird tends to carry loose, giving the head a tousled appearance. Unlike the eagle-owls, the ear tufts of the Pel's fishing owl are barely visible, giving it a very round-headed appearance. ", Tarboton, Warwick & Erasmus, Rudy. The Pel's Fishing-owls (Scotopelia peli) are amongst largest owl species in the world, measuring up to 25 inches (63 cm) in length and weighing up to 5.2 lbs (2.35 kg) - making it the heaviest extisting owl species with the exception of the Horned Owl species (Bubo genus). The feathers around the head are loose and long, giving the head a shaggy appearance. They are not picky eaters among fish species and any fish that is in a reasonable size range and found close to the water's surface is readily caught and consumed. [4], The nest is a natural hollow or cavity in an old shady tree close to the water, quite often around where thick branches emerge from the trunk. The nest is a natural hollow or cavity in an old tree near water. The white throat is often largely obscured but can be puffed up in displaying birds during courtship.