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Spotted Eagle Owl, Close-up

Spotted eagle owl, close-up Caption: Close-up of Spotted Eagle-Owl showing the distinctive ear tufts, and (below) the same bird perched on a tree stump, illustrating how its colors blend with those of the lichen-encrusted branches, African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Ashburton, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

spotted eagle own perching on low branch

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital; Lens: Canon EF 80-200mm f/2.8L zoom lens; Focal Length: 200mm; Shutter speed: 1/2000; Aperture: f4; ISO: 200.

The spotted eagle-owl(Bubo africanus), with a height of 45 cm (18 in) and weight of 480 g to 850 g (1 to 1.8 lb), is one of the smaller eagle owls.

It has a 33cm (13 in) wingspan. The facial disk is off-white to pale ochre. Eyes are yellow and the bill is black. It has prominent ear tufts, and the upper body is a dusky brown color. Spotted eagle-owls are monogamous, so breed with one partner for life.

They are resident in most southern African forests, although they are also found in urban areas in parks and wooded areas. Spotted eagle-owls are nocturnal hunters, spending the day concealed in trees, rock ledges or abandoned burrows. They attack their prey aerially and their diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents.

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