Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#9)

Week 9: African Barred Owlet (Glaucidium capense)

I cannot believe it has been a month since my previous weekly bird photography blog – I was just too busy to realise time is flying.

However, for this week’s bird, I am back in South Afrcia and this time in Mala Mala Nature Reserve next to the Kruger National Park. The bird is the not-so-often photographed African Barred Owlet, The image was taken during a predator photography safari organised by C4 Images & Safari with Greg du Toit as our guide. This was a lifer for me because I haven’t see this owlet since I’ve started having an interest in birds. According to Greg, this owlet is not often photographed – so I was very satisfied to get this image just before the owlet flew away.


African barred owlet

African Barred Owlet

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 640, f8, 1/2000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 25 meters from bird

Mala Mala Nature Reserve, South Africa, April 2014



Interesting facts:

With a length of 20 à 21 cm and a weight of 83 to 140 grams it is a small owl. It has no ear tufts. There is some sexual dimorphism in size, with the females being larger, but no differences in plumage. The species is most frequently found in woodland and forests, and on forest edges. It may also occur in more open savannah and along rivers. It is partly diurnal, and feeds mostly on insects, although small rodents and birds may also be eaten. (Wikipedia).

Their eyes are yellow. In many species the talons are, in relation to their size, very powerful. The facial disc is not very distinct. Some species have a large dark patch with a pale border on each side of the nape of the neck, looking like false eyes. Most frequently found in woodland and forests, and on forest edges. It may also occur in more open savannah and along rivers. Prefers woodlands, with sparse undergrowth, usually with a river or stream nearby. It uses natural hollows in trees as nests, about 6 m above ground. Nest is lined with feathers and leaves, Clutch size is 2-3 eggs, which are incubated in about 28-34 days by the female alone. The chicks fledge after 32-33 days, and are fed by both parents. At 42 days, they have learned to fly. (http://www.planetofbirds.com/strigiformes-strigidae-african-barred-owlet-glaucidium-capense)


Distribution map:

Map African Barred Owlet


Until next week – keep on shooting!!!





  1. #1 by Schalk Burger on May 16, 2014 - 8:01 pm

    Let asb daarop dat my e-posadres verander het na 444eko@gmail.com

    Schalk Burger

    Tel. 021 843 3199

    Sel. 082 492 2301

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