Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
Study With Safari Guides in Botswana
What safari guides should know:
The Verreaux’s eagle owl is the third largest owl in the world. This is a fascinating bird for field guides to show their guests. On your wildlife or ecology course with us you will almost definitely hear this owl and once you have a location it is only a matter of time until you find this monster owl. The commonly recognized call is the deep booming grunt but few guides know the long drawn out “peeeeeeow” used between the mother and her sub-adult offspring.
Verreaux’s eagle owl are predominantly nocturnal but are very opportunistic and will pounce on unsuspecting prey during the day too.
They have been known to take prey as large as young warthogs and monkeys. They also kill other raptors, herons, flamingos and storks. It is an agile flyer being able to catch birds like sandgrouse in flight. In some areas hedgehog are a favourite meal and they use their long talons to prize the curled animal open and feed from the exposed under-belly.
The massive size and pale, nearly uniform underparts and the pink eye-lids make this bird unmistakeable.
Occurs throughout Botswana but most common in the north and east of the county as well as in the camelthorn veld along the dry river course in the Kgalakgadi area.
FGASA Level 1 Course Specialist Birding Course