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Mating Pearl-Spotted Owlets

This brief and rare sighting of a pair of Pearl-Spotted Owls mating was caught on camera!

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Mating Pearl-Spotted Owls

Pearl-Spotted Owlets are often active during the day. One Saturday in July Pieter Burger and his wife Mariekin, witnessed something spectacular while visiting Kruger National Park. They happened to notice something catch their eye and looked up to see a Pearl-Spotted Owlet in a Leadwood tree.

Mating Pearl-Spotted Owls

Pieter could miss his opportunity to photograph this beauty. After taking only one photo Pieter noticed the bird was displaying some funny behaviour as she seemed to be puffing herself up.

Mating Pearl-Spotted Owlets

Pearl-Spotted Owlets are one of Southern Africa’s smallest owls and weigh approximately 58g. They feed on insects, small rodents, and bats and have even been spotted catching Laughing Doves that weigh 200g.

Breeding Season Results in Mating Pearl-Spotted Owlets

Pearl-Spotted Owlets breed between August – November, and the female lays 2-4 eggs in a tree cavity often made by woodpeckers and barbets. It is common for both parents to incubate the eggs for up to 31 days. The young grow up very quickly and within a few weeks, they leave the nest.

“While photographing the female a male swooped in and began to mate with her!”

All in all the ritual seemed to last about 6 seconds. The male then took off with the female not far behind. It’s as if they vanished just as quickly as they had appeared. Pieter was so thrilled and felt most privileged to have seen and captured this moment on camera.

We pin thousands of wildlife sightings shared by our community in Kruger and Pilanesberg onto an interactive map. These maps will help you plan the best routes in the parks based on hard data! Our eGuide could help you spot animals in the parks!

Mating Pearl-Spotted Owls
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