Pel’s Fishing-owl (Scotopelia peli)

The Pel’s Fishing-owls (Scotopelia peli) are amongst largest owl species in the world, measuring up to 25 inches (63 cm) in length and weighing up to 5.2 lbs (2.35 kg) – making it the heaviest existing owl species with the exception of the Horned Owl species (Bubo genus).

They are found in many parts of Africa, south of the Saharan desert, where they are, however, localized and uncommon and absent from drier regions.

Records of these owls exist in the following countries: Nigeria, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and in central Africa from the coast to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania and southwards to Zimbabwe, Botswana and eastern South Africa.

Their preferred habitats are forests along rivers and lakes, and they are well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle as their main diet consists of fish and frogs caught at night from the surface of bodies of water.

More Owl Information

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