African Spotted Eagle-Owl


African Spotted Eagle-Owl

Scientific Name

Bubo africanus


Spotted eagle-owls are the smallest species of eagle owl. Nevertheless, they have an impressive wing span of 1 meter. Their feathers are brown or grey in colour and have white spots on them. Like all eagle owls, spotted eagle-owls have ‘ear tufts’ on the top of their heads. Perhaps their most striking feature is their large eyes which are bright yellow/orange in colour.

They are mainly nocturnal animals, preferring to hunt at night time. Like all owls, this bird uses its feet to catch prey. They have strong toes and long, sharp talons.

Spotted eagle owls form close bonds with their breeding partner and have been known to mate for life.  During the mating season, which runs from July to February, the mating pairs work together to build a nest for their eggs. Spotted eagle-owls often make nests on the ground as well as in the hollows of trees. Once the female lays her eggs, she will incubate them for approximately 1 month whilst the male provides food for her.


Spotted eagle-owls eat a large variety of animals including small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds.

Size Fact

Female eagle-owls (the larger of the species) can grow up to 45cm in height.

Food Fact

Eagle-owls are often found on roads, scavenging road kill.

Fun Fact

The owl’s ear tufts can act as a mood indicator.

IUCN Red list

Spotted eagle-owls are classified as Least Concern on the IUCN red list.

Where do I live?

The owls can be found in sub-Saharan Africa and some of the Arabian Peninsula.

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