Look who is sitting in a tree at the bottom of the garden! I believe it is a wood owl. What a privilege! They have a really enigmatic call and in our 22 years in Clovelly, I have only ever seen one before and that was many years ago. I wonder if it too is a fire refugee? There certainly are more birds of prey in the neighbourhoods now than pre-fire.
My apologies for the bad picture quality – I did not want to chase him /her – with bright lights etc.
The African Wood Owl is a medium sized owl 30-36 cm long and weighing 240-350 gr. Its call is a series of loud fast hoots. As it name indicates, it lives mainly in forest and woodland areas; in southern Africa mainly in the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and eastern and southern South Africa. Their range has increased over recent years mainly because of the profusion of wooded suburban gardens.
The wood owl eats mainly insects but includes reptiles, small mammals and other birds on its menu.It generally swoops down on its prey from its perch but also catches bats and insects in flight.
The wood owl usually nests in tree cavities anywhere from 1-30m above ground and also in hollows between roots of trees, using the same nest over a number of breeding seasons.