The Owls

 

There are two distinct species kept in Haller Park. The first one is the Spotted Eagle Owl( Bubo africanus) and the Vareaux's Eagle Owl ( Bubo lacteus) which is also known as the Giant Eagle Owl. The two species were obtained from street boys who most likely trapped the chicks from surrounding bushes.

Spotted Eagle Owl ( Bubo Africanus )

This species belongs to family Strigidae. Obtained from street boys who most likely trapped the chicks in the nest. The spotted eagle Owl stands 17-19 inches tall and has a 13 inch wing span. Grayish brownish owls (More often brownish) with striking yellow eyes and tufted ears. Heavily spotted eagle owls occur on rocky slopes, cliffs and ravines in bush land, woodland and open country.

 

Spotted eagle owls mate for life and mature when around one year old. They can live for 10-12 years in the wild and up to 20years in captivity. They are also often found nesting in densely populated areas. Spotted eagle owls eat small mammals (mice and rats) small birds and reptiles, like other birds of prey, spotted eagle owls help to keep rodent populations under control.

 

Vereaux’s Eagle Owl/ Giant Eagle Owl ( Bubo lacteus)

The Vareaux's eagle owl belongs to the family Strigidae. Obtained from street boys who most likely trapped the chicks in their nest. The Verreaux's Eagle owl stands at 23-25 inches tall and has a wing span of almost 6 feet. It is a large pale grayish brown owl, heavily barred. Pairs usually perch in tall trees during the day. Pink eyelids are conspicuous when eyes are closed.

 

The Verreaux's Eagle owl is one of the largest owls in the world. Its appearance has earned in the nickname "Milky Owl". Because of their size, they eat larger prey than most owls, such as medium sized birds and rodents, fish, hedgehogs and even monkeys.

 

Despite their good looks and grace, in many Kenyan communities are perceived to have ties with evil spirits, people tend to stone or chase this bird away when it is sighted and often the birds suffer a fatal outcome from such false accusations. It is important to note that owls, like other birds of prey, help keep rodent populations under control.