Today I’d like to my shift focus from pet trade birds and introduce you to a species I’ve worked with for many years, the Pel’s Fishing Owl, Scotopelia peli. One individual under my care at the Bronx Zoo lived into his 50’s, and provided me with insights into the owl-world’s most uniquely adapted predator.
Owl Diversity: Bug Hunters to Deer-Slayers
It seems that the various species of owls are viewed by most folks as “variations on a theme” – mysterious, nocturnal birds that feed upon rodents and vanish by day. But within the owl family (Strigiformes) we find an incredible diversity of lifestyles – sparrow-sized Elf Owls that nest in cacti and hunt insects, Great Horned Owls that stalk cats in NYC and parrots in Costa Rica, massive Eagle Owls capable of taking deer fawns, day-flying Hawk Owls…the list goes on. Among the most unique are those that specialize in hunting fishes, known collectively as Fish or Fishing Owls. Read More »