Surninae, Tribe Surniini
Strix perlatum Vieillot, 1817, Senegal. Two subspecies are recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Pearl-spotted owl; French: Chevкchette perlйe; German: Perlkauz; Spanish: Mochelo Perlado.
6.7–7.9 in (17–20 cm). Female, 2.2–5.2 oz (61–147 g). Male, 1.3–3 oz (36–86 g). A small owl with a cinnamon head, whitish facial disc, white eyebrows, and yellow eyes. Upperparts are cinnamon with white spots; flight feathers are dark brown with reddish bars. Underparts are white with broad brown streaks. The longish tail is brown with incomplete white bars.
Gambia to Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda to north and east South Africa, Angola, and Namibia.
Bushveld, open and dense woodlands, and grasslands.
Sedentary. Territorial throughout the year. An energetic hunter that takes prey considerably larger than itself at times. Hunts chiefly at night, but is the most diurnal African owl, especially in winter. False white “eye” patches on backs of wings may act as a deterrent to predators.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Many insects, arthropods, small mammals, birds (up to the size of doves), lizards, and bats. Hunts from perch and will chase birds in flight.
Cavity nester, especially using old nests of barbets or woodpeckers. Normally lays three eggs. Incubation is about 29 days. Usually rears one or two young. Young fledge in about 31 days.
Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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