[4], The song of the male Pel's fishing owl is a deep, sonorous, horn-like boom, first a single and then a higher pitched huhuhu. [4], Pel's fishing owls nest during the dry season, which has the benefit of lower, clearer water and thus more easily detectable fish. and assume their first true feathers by 10 months. It is a large owl which measures between 51 and 61cm long and has a wingspan measuring 423 to 445mm. Last updated 2020-10-22. International Ornithological Congress. Hunting & Food: Pel's Fishing Owl can catch fish up to 2kg, but generally prey on fish from 100-200g. The white throat is often largely obscured but can be puffed up in displaying birds during courtship. Flight and tail feathers are barred light and The rusty brown colour feathers with dark brown spots together with this birds rarity have lead it to being nicknamed "The Leopard with Feathers". It lasts around 32 days and most likely Pel's fishing owl may move outside of their own range in pursuit of prey. Weight 2055-2325g. Underparts are pale rufous-buff with dusky shaft-streaks, these ending in a rounded It was named after Hendrik Severinus Pel, the Dutch governor of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) between 1840 and 1850. When disturbed at the nest, the female performs a distraction display by feigning injury and uttering high trills with her bill wide open. The species is found in Africa and lives near rivers and lakes. Habits: A nocturnal bird which is most active vocally on moonlit nights, especially towards dawn. The calls of the male are repeated every 10 to 20 seconds and can be heard from up to 3 km (1.9 mi) away. 2020. It nests in hollows and the forks of large trees. However, they are sometimes seen to be active during the day, especially when prey is scarce. It nests in hollows and the forks of large trees. [6][7] One male was found to weigh 1.72 kg (3.8 lb) and four females averaged 2.19 kg (4.8 lb), it may outrival the snowy owl (only around 4% lighter on average in six datasets) as the fifth or sixth heaviest living owl on average. They sometimes will forage by wading into shallow water near sandbanks. Voice: The song of the male is a deep horn-like boom, beginning with a hoot and generally followed by a deeper and softer grunt - [13] Females and young at the nest wail a shrill wheeoouu while anticipating food.[4]. Like diurnal raptors that specialize in fish, they have spiky scales on the bottoms of their feet that help them grip slippery fish. [13], The Pel's fishing owl ranges from locally rare and sporadic to quite common, depending on how ideal the local environment is. The species is found in Africa and lives near rivers and lakes. At the first sight of danger to their offspring, both parents may engage in distraction displays. Top 5 facts about Pel’s Fishing Owl: They don’t migrate on a seasonal basis and will only move to new territory if the food supply in their existing habitat becomes depleted. The eyes are distinctly dark, often blackish in color. Pel's Fishing Owls sometimes feign injury, uttering penetrating trills. This large bird weighs between 2,055 and 2,325g. Pel's fishing owl (Bubo peli) This species is named after the Dutch governor of Gold Coast, Hendrik Severinus Pel. [16] Thus, the species is classified as least concern by the IUCN. The species prefers slow moving rivers with large overhanging trees to roost and forage from. One of the most coveted of theses is the Pel's fishing owl and hoot-oot. They can take fish weighing as much as 2 kg (4.4 lb) but the majority of fish caught are much smaller, usually weighing 100–200 g (3.5–7.1 oz). Unlike many other fish-eating birds, Pel's fishing owl rarely submerge themselves or get particularly wet while hunting. [15] Due to the relatively late stage at which the young become fully independent, Pel's fishing owls usually only breed in alternate years. More uncommonly, this species will forage by wading into shallow water along sandbanks. It feeds nocturnally on fish and frogs snatched from the surface of lakes and rivers. [8][9] Under current classification, it is the heaviest extant owl outside of the genus Bubo, although some authors may also include the fishing owls in Bubo. Habitat: Forest along rivers and lakes, from swamps and estuaries at sea level up to about 1700m.