Last night my guests and I were lucky enough to see a Spotted Eagle-Owl on drive. From a distance we saw it sitting on the road but as we approached it flew off into the bush. Luckily it landed on a dead tree right next to the road and we were able to sit there watching it watch us. We were nicely able to see the owls ability to turn its head for about 180 degrees. A lot of the owl’s adaptations are towards being silent as they are mostly hunters of mice and rats, and they are hard to hear/see in the long grass. Next to that their prey has very good hearing and will hear the owl if it makes too much noise. Therefore the owl does not have to move its whole body if it wants to listen in a different direction and its flight feathers are designed to make no noise when flying. This it proved as it eventually flew off.
By: Roel van Muiden – River Lodge Ranger