“We don’t know anything about the dispersal patterns and survival of the chicks yet, or the age at which they start breeding. Eastern grass owl. Coming up with new solutions for yellow thatch grass, Safari Style: The flamboyant flamingo in African fashion. Passing through the elaborate entrance to the town we were immediately herded into a plethora of shops selling delicious swiss chocolate. All of a sudden the brazilians started bouncing with excitement as there, on a branch over the road, was a real Rusty-barred Owl explaining to us that he was not very pleased about the intruder in his territory. The various birds of prey on offer in these forests were very elusive, but by the end of my trip I managed to see Southern Caracara, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Laughing Falcon as well as the ever-present Black Vulture. Owling can be a particularly rewarding pastime, however be warned – it is addictive and once you’re hooked there’s no going back. The African Grass Owls heart shaped face collects sound just like a humans ears does. The southern section is mountainous with unsuitable habitat but for a couple of isolated wetlands between the koppies. African Grass-Owls depend on wetlands; they prefer to breed in tall, rank stands of grass in the wetland fringe, and have a particular liking for the Vlei Rat (, Owl Travels: Quest for the Rusty-barred Owl, Unravelling the mysteries of the African Grass-Owl. Many of the owls are found on private land, says Rachuene, and the EWT works closely with landowners to create awareness around the species. The African grass owl resembles the barn owl and has a heart shaped whitish-cream facial disc, with a narrow yellowish-buff rim which is densely spotted dark. it also destroys the small isolated pockets of habitat that are still intact. 2: The number of ground-nesting owls in South Africa: the African grass-owl (. Guillermo, instigator of the afternoon, climbed out and started to play a series of different owl calls. of land, with the core of their distribution falling on the Highveld region of South Africa’s Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces. List of all Birds. In particular, I wish to highlight the plight of these enigmatic creatures and focus on their conservation. I did, however, manage to sort out all the necessary permits and permissions to conduct my research on Suikerbosrand – a painfully long process – and moved into a large old house with a great view over the grasslands. In addition to fire posing a risk to the owls and their chicks, All of this contributes to the loss of more than 60% of the nesting habitat on the Highveld alone. The little town of Campos do Jordao, tucked away in the mountains of Sao Paulo State, was to play host to the 25th International Ornithological Congress (IOC). Suikerbosrand is the flagship reserve for the Gauteng province, covering nearly 20 000ha of highveld grassland. Watch this space for updates on the tagged female, new captures, and some nest observations…. In the winter we played host to the 2010 Soccer World Cup which brought the entire country to a standstill. The sound that emitted from Guillermo’s PDA can only be described as a very deep ‘roar’, the likes of which I would have never considered that of any owl. The southern section is mountainous with unsuitable habitat but for a couple of isolated wetlands between the koppies. Congo bay owl. I can report that the female is back on the nest and is being fed diligently by her mate. On our third attempt I watched the female land at the entrance of the nest and then disappear out of sight. Welcome to my blog – African Owls. Peddling along the main beach I happened upon a bamboo structure that fenced in the living quarters of a few Burrowing Owls. Guillermo, instigator of the afternoon, climbed out and started to play a series of different owl calls. 10: The number of vlei rats an adult grass-owl can bring to the nest in a single evening. I’m sure that my words had an air of desperation to them, because as far as I’m concerned this was do-or-die time. The African Grass Owl is a medium-sized owl with long legs and no ear-tufts. “Grass-owls use the same patches It was already dark when we decided to head back to sample some more non-brazilian cuisine. The nice couple told me all about their wonderful Pantanal experience while I was stressing about how I was to wrangle a spot on the transfer bus (thereby saving about R$ 340 in transport costs). In many cases, mining companies also approach landowners first to purchase a property, so education is key. I had found the nest the week before during a survey of a drainage line in Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. I initially investigated the habitat and diet of the African Grass-Owl on the Highveld of South Africa for my B.Tech. If you display these symptoms after indulging in the world of owls then you will probably also have more pleasant side-effect in the form of a constant silly grin on your face. Using a fedora and the shoddy bicycle as camouflage I returned the following morning to photograph these lovely little owls. All this activity and excessive brain usage also made us all very hungry and by lunchtime we raced passed the gourmet non-brazilian restaurants to flock at the stall selling pizza squares. There are risks involved as far as jeopardising a breeding attempt, and it introduces a number of biases such as only capturing females and the restricted movement they have during this time. We tried all sorts of capture methods, but it soon became clear that we had underestimated the owl’s senses. We often counter this by leading double lives, blending in with society as best we can during the daylight hours. I immediately crouched down into the long grass to keep hidden and a few seconds later I heard the fishing alarm bleep as the trap door fell. As part of the project, the EWT has deployed lightweight trackers on seven owls to get a better understanding of their movement patterns. Prey Programme. I had found the nest the week before during a survey of a drainage line in Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. There in the arrivals lobby we met other marauding bird people impatiently awaiting their transfer to the congress. Unfortunately my new project also came to a standstill, because it requires actually capturing an adult African Grass-Owl, something we did not yet know how to do. According to one study, both the African Grass Owl and the Barn Owl show pronounced sexual dimorphism (meaning a difference between the sexes) with the females being significantly larger than males! The various birds of prey on offer in these forests were very elusive, but by the end of my trip I managed to see Southern Caracara, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Laughing Falcon as well as the ever-present Black Vulture. I even met guy who helped organise my transmitters from South America. Apart from fire, land use transformation and habitat loss and fragmentation associated with mining and agriculture is still the most pertinent threat to the species. They found that these owls hold very small territories, with average home ranges of around 420ha, and depend heavily on fairly pristine habitat.