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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Eagle-owl

Afrikaans name: Kaapse ooruil

Cape Eagle-owl

Cape Eagle Owl

Photo © Riaan van den Berg -

Bubo capensis

The Cape Eagle-owl is a large bird of prey. It can measure up to 60 cm in length. Females are larger than males and can weigh up to 1.8 kg.

It is fairly similar in looks to the Spotted Eagle-owl but this species has orange eyes while the Spotted Eagle-owl has yellow eyes. It is also larger and has a more 'blotched' appearance.

Despite being called the Cape Eagle-owl it is fairly widespread in its distribution. It is found all the way from the Cape through to Ethiopia and Kenya.

It is capable of killing and large prey including Duiker and Klipspringer. It also takes smaller prey such as rodents, birds, lizards and insects.

The Cape Eagle-owl normally breeds on cliff ledges. They lay up to 3 eggs.


References and further reading

A Delight of Owls - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 107

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 121

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 266

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 48

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 42

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 349

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 346

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 244

The Owls of Southern Africa - Author: Alan Kemp and Simon Calburn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 138

List of South African Birds

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