Pel’s fishing owl


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The Pel’s fishing owl (Scotopelia peli) is a large species of owl in the family Strigidae. It feeds nocturnally on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of lakes and rivers. The species prefers slow moving rivers with large overhanging trees to roost and forage from. It nests in hollows and the forks of large trees. Though two eggs are laid, only one chick is raised.

It is found throughout a large part of sub-Saharan Africa, but it is generally rather local, uncommon and absent from drier regions. It is patchily distributed in Nigeria, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and in central Africa from the coast to eastern Zaire and discontinuously to South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania and southwards to Zimbabwe, Botswana and eastern South Africa.

The Pel’s fishing owl is found in forests along rivers and lakes. They can found in swamps and estuaries at sea level up to an elevation of around 1,700 m (5,600 ft). The favorite habitat is riverine forests with large trees, although large numbers are also found on islands of large, old trees within larger rivers, swamps or lakes, so long as the islands are not too far from the bank. The species is largely residential and has no seasonal movement, although young, non-breeding birds may wander somewhat before claiming their own territories. Pel’s fishing owl may move outside of their own range in pursuit of prey. source

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