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Birdwatching in Africa - Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum

The Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) is an owl that breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa. This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.

Distribution and subspecies
The pearl-spotted owlet occurs in sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal in the west, east to Sudan and Eritrea, south to eastern South Africa and then north through Namibia to western Angola. It avoids dense rainforests, montane forests and treeless areas such as deserts.

Two subspecies are currently recognised:

• Glaucidium perlatum perlatum: Senegal and Gambia to western Sudan

• Glaucidium perlatum licua: Eastern Sudan and Ethiopia to northern South Africa, Angola and Namibia.

Range map from

Range map
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

The pearl-spotted owlet is small (about 19 cm) and stocky, with a longish tail. The upperparts are rich brown, heavily spotted with white and showing a white shoulder bar. The underparts are white, streaked with brown. The facial disc is white and the eyes are yellow, it has been said to have a "cross" expression.

There are two eyespots on the nape. Sexes are similar, but young birds are paler with a shorter tail and may have more prominent eye spots on the nape. The flight is deeply undulating.

The commonest call is a whistled tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu but like other owlets it has a varied repertoire, including an explosive, drawn out "whet" which may be an alarm call.

Length: 19 cm
Weight: 61 - 147 g
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.
Female / Male

• Sexes are similar, but young birds are paler with a shorter tail.

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.

Listen to the Pearl-spotted Owlet

Remarks from the Recordist

Harrassed by Common Bulbul and Gonolek.

The pearl-spotted owlet is a common and easily seen bird in open woodland and savannah. It nests in a hole in a tree, such as a disused barbet nest, laying 2-4 eggs. The male sings from the entrance of the cavity before breeding then calls from within it, making a series of wailing notes.

This species often hunts by day, and can be readily located by the small birds that mob it while it is perched in a tree. It hunts a variety of small prey, including small vertebrates and arthropods such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, spiders, and millipedes. Most hunting is done from perches.

Conservation status
Conservation status
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22689203A93222668.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: 22 October 2019(Date of first photo that I could use)
Location: Awash National Park, Ethiopia

Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum
Pearl-spotted Owlet - 22 October 2019 - Awash National Park, Ethiopia

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