The African Barred Owlet, also referred to as Glaucidium capense, is a species of small owl found in most of southern, central, and eastern Africa in the Strigidae family. Rather than being a single species, the taxon can be four species. Owl species such as the Eastern Screech Owl, Crested Owl, White-faced Owl, Bare-legged Owl, and Elf Owl are members of the Strigidae family, also known as true owls. In the central and southern parts of the African continent, this owl species is endemic. In eastern Africa, many numbers of its type were also sighted. A sequence of single pitched purring sounds is the call of the African Barred Owlet. With white concentric lines, the facial disc is pale brownish. There are whitish eyebrows. Yellow is the eyes, and pale greenish-grey is the cere and bill with a yellowish tinge. The head and nape are greyish-brown to dark earth-brown with fine whitish bars and densely marked. Dark cinnamon-brown, narrowly barred buff are the mantle, back, and uppertail-coverts. The scapulars on the outer webs and dark brown tips are cinnamon-brown with broad whitish regions, forming a distinct whitish row across the shoulder. The barred cinnamon-brown and rufous-brown flight feathers are the tail is greyish-brown, and pale buff, densely barred. The throat and the upper breast are greyish-brown, buffish-white, and densely barred. Off-white, with a pale buffish wash, and with broad, dark brown dots at the tips of some feathers are the remainder of the underparts. Whitish-buff with some brown spots are the underwing-coverts. It is about 17 cm in length and about 40 cm in wingspan (16 in).
African Barred Owlet
While endangered in some areas in Africa, the general population of the African Barred Owlet is widely distributed and at a steady increase, the African barred owl occurs in open habitats with trees such as gallery forest, woodland, forest edge, and secondary growth. Therefore, this owl species has been listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The key vocal activity is at dusk and dawn, but they are also active on quiet, clear nights. It normally roosts in a shell, often in a natural hole in a tree. With whirring wingbeats, the flight is short, swooping up to a perch. It appears that this owl bathes regularly. Tiny mammals, birds, rodents, frogs, butterflies, scorpions, and caterpillars are usually captured after a short flight from a perch. Both sexes, most often before mating, sing to proclaim their territories. A tree cavity 3-6 m (9.8-19.7 ft) from the ground is typically the nest site. In September to November, 2–3 eggs are laid. Both parents feed the young, but only in the dark, fledgling after 30-33 days and becoming autonomous after 7-12 months. An adult African Barred Owlet has a weight of 81-139 g and can grow up to 20-22 cm. Its wing length varies between 131-150 mm, while its tail length varies between 74-101 mm. Typically, females are larger than males. This species of owl thrives in Africa’s southern, northern, and eastern sections. On Mafia Island, too, African Barred Owlets can be found. Tree ecosystems, such as gallery forests, woodland savannahs, forest margins, river forests, and other open areas, are frequent.
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