The Spotted Eagle-Owl is a medium sized species of owl, one of the smallest of the eagle-owls and is a very successful hunter. It has a length of 45 centimetres, weight 480 – 850 g, a wingspan of 33cm and 4 toes.
This Owl has prominent ear tufts, big yellow eyes, their upper body is a dusky brown colour, and lower body white with brown bars. The Spotted Eagle-Owl is a nocturnal hunter and their prey consist mainly of small mammals, mice, frogs, birds, insects and reptiles. They will often swallow large prey whole and when the prey is too large or challenging they make use of head-jerking and pausing/resting with their mouth full.
The male is in charge of finding food, when the female cannot leave the nest. Even in cases where starvation is a possibility he will tear off the head of a mouse, but bring the rest to the female and the young. Spotted eagle-owls usually lay 2-3 eggs (can be up to 6), with an incubation period of 32 days. Breeding season is July – February.
Spotted Eagle-owls occur across sub Equatorial Africa in most habitats, excluding deserts and high grassland. They have also adapted to living with humans, occurring in many cities in Southern Africa.