Pel's Fishing-Owl ( Scotopelia peli, family: strigidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Pel's Fishing Owl

pels fishing owl kruger national park birds The Pel's Fishing-Owl (Latin name Scotopelia peli) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 403 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 259 also a picture of the Pel's Fishing-Owl on page 272. The Pel's Fishing-Owl belongs to the family of birds classified as strigidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Pel's Fishing-Owl is also known by these other names: Fishing Owl.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Pel's Fishing-Owl was called the Pel's Fishing Owl

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Pel's Fishing-Owl is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Pel's Fishing-Owl in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Pel's Fishing-Owl : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Pel's Fishing-Owl is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the Pel's Fishing-Owl is about 63 cms and its weight is about 2140 gms

The male and female Pel's Fishing-Owl have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is grey, white.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are brown.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Pel's Fishing-Owl feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Pel's Fishing-Owl is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Scotopelia peli will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Pel's Fishing-Owl is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 1 to 2

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Pel's Fishing-Owl are: wetlands

You will normally see the Pel's Fishing-Owl by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Visuil

German ... Bindenfischeule, Fischeule

Portuguese ... Corujo-pesqueiro de Pel

French ... Chouette-pcheuse de Pel

Dutch ... Pel-Visuil

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 403

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,