The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Marsh Owl

Afrikaans name: Vlei-uil

Marsh Owl

Photo © Riaan van den Berg - Fotolia.com

Asio capensis

The Marsh Owl is fairly common in some areas of the eastern half of South Africa. As its name suggests it is most commonly seen near marshy areas but may also be found in savanna and grassland.

It can sometimes be seen perched on a fence near a wetland habitat in the early hours of the day.

Marsh Owls feed on small birds, mammals and reptiles as well as insects which form the main part of their diet. It searches for food by flying low over the open grasslands and swooping down on a suitable prey item. It can sometimes be seen hunting during the day.

They make their nest in the grass and the female lays up to 6 eggs although 2 to 4 is the normal quantity. The chicks remain with their parents for about 3 months.

References and further reading

The Owls of Southern Africa - Author: Alan Kemp and Simon Calburn - Published: 1987 - Page: 122

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 116

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 51

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 147

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 25

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 19

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 242

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 236

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 268

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 345

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 341

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 248

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 258

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 216

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 216

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 166

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 112

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 42

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 69

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 130

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 124

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 146

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 254

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 104

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 85

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 154

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 119

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 119

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 157

A Delight of Owls - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1984 - Page: 40


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List of South African Birds

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