Advertising opportunities on Bluegnu

The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Marsh Owl

Afrikaans name: Vlei-uil

Marsh Owl

Photo © Riaan van den Berg -

Asio capensis

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 reading

A 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

List of South African Birds

Got a comment about the content on this page?

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2021. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use