Southern white faced owl
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|We spotted this owl sleeping in a bush, neatly camouflaged, right next to the road in the middle of the day.|
The Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti) is a fairly small owl in the family Strigidae. It is native to the southern half of Africa. It was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Northern White-faced Owl (P. leucopsis) but the two are now commonly treated as separate species.
It is 22-28 centimetres long and weighs 185-220 grams. The upperparts are grey with dark streaks and there are white spots on the scapular feathers. The underparts are whitish with dark streaks. The face is white with a black border and black around the large orange eyes. The head has two short "ear" tufts with black tips. Juvenile birds have a greyish face. The Northern White-faced Owl is usually paler and browner with reduced streaking below.
The call is a series of fast, bubbling hoots. It is uttered at night and frequently repeated. The Northern White-faced Owl has a very different two-note call.
Its range extends from Gabon eastwards to southern Kenya and southwards to Namibia and northern South Africa. It inhabits savanna and dry woodland. It is usually seen alone or in pairs. It hunts for large invertebrates and some small mammals, birds and reptiles are also taken.
The eggs are usually laid in the old nest of another bird. The clutch contains two or three eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. The young birds leave the nest about a month after hatching.
The owl has the magnificent ability to modify its appearance in times of danger or threat. It may enlarge its body to ward off other owls, or it may make itself appear shrivelled to camouflage itself as a tree trunk or branch.
This owl came to popular attention when it was featured in a Japanese video, aptly titled "Transformer Owl." The owl in that video was named Popo-chan and came from South Africa.
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Not the best time of day but you did well in spotting him and capture the moment. Great note with good info.
Sleepy guy! Wonderful detail. I saw two large owl today and they were fairly active, did not seem sleepy at all, so wondered about their actual lifestyle. Well done.