Our garden at our home in Fish Hoek is graced this Sunday morning (10.30 am) with the presence of a Spotted Eagle Owl sitting regally on the driveway gatepost in the shade. For the past half an hour he has gazed at us dispassionately with his large cold bright yellow eyes as we have photographed him from various angles. We have no idea how long he has been sitting there.The photo alongside was taken this morning.
On another summery Sunday morning almost two years ago we had a Spotted Eagle Owl fly onto the same gatepost. One of his wings and a leg appeared to be injured. He fluttered and fell through the shrubbery onto our driveway where he lay for more than two hours during which time I tried to get help for him from two local vets (closed), from the World of Birds in Hout Bay from where I was directed to Spier Farm near Stellenbosch. In desperation I called the emergency number of our local doctor, a falconer, who kindly came to catch the bird. As he carefully approached the owl, having gloved up in preparation, the owl miraculously took flight, soaring over our neighbours’ roof. Feeling a complete idiot for the consternation I had caused, I was told that the owl had probably been knocked by a car and had spent the time in our garden recovering. This made me feel better and very privileged that that our garden had been chosen as his refuge! Today again we feel very privileged by the visit of another large feathery friend, who is still placidly sitting on his post, an hour after we first spotted him. Could it be the same visitor we had two years ago?!
Below: Photos of injured owl taken Feb 2010:
Update: The owl remained at his post for several hours and then moved onto a low branch in the tree behind where he remained quite unperturbed by the movement of vehicles and people below him. He was still there when we went to bed but on Monday morning had flown. We hope to be blessed with further visits!
For more about Spotted Eagle Owls and the construction of owl boxes see http://scenicsouth.co.za//2010/04/spotted-eagle-owl-in-clovelly/
Contact no. for assistance with Injured hawks and owls: Ph Eagle Encounters at Spier 082 462 5463. Hank Chalmers will direct you to someone local to assist.
For assitance with other injured wildlife see http://scenicsouth.co.za//environment/urban-wildlife/