Afrikaans name: Vlei-uil
The Marsh Owl is fairly common in some areas of the eastern half of South Africa. As its name suggests it is most commonly seen near marshy areas but may also be found in savanna and grassland.
It can sometimes be seen perched on a fence near a wetland habitat in the early hours of the day.
Marsh Owls feed on small birds, mammals and reptiles as well as insects which form the main part of their diet. It searches for food by flying low over the open grasslands and swooping down on a suitable prey item. It can sometimes be seen hunting during the day.
They make their nest in the grass and the female lays up to 6 eggs although 2 to 4 is the normal quantity. The chicks remain with their parents for about 3 months.
References and further readingA Delight of Owls - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 40
A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 119
Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 85
Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 254
Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 124
Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 42
Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 112
Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 345
Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 341
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 242
The Owls of Southern Africa - Author: Alan Kemp and Simon Calburn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 122