The African Grass Owl (Tyto capensis) is a barn owl from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The African Grass Owl has a large, heart-shaped creamy-white face with a light brown rim. It has a cream crown and neck, brown-black back and wing feathers, and a beige chest speckled with black dots. It has a short tail with dark bars. Its eyes are brown-black, and it has a pink-white beak and grey legs with sharp claws.
It grows to about 42 centimetres (17 inches) tall.
The African Grass Owl likes grasslands and open savannahs, close to water.
It is nocturnal (active at night), when it hunts for food, such as frogs, rats, mice and small mammals. It will sit and wait, then swoop onto its prey, picking it up with its sharp claws. It takes its food to a perch or it will eat it on the ground.
It makes a shallow, hollow nest, lined with grass. Females lay 2-4 white eggs, which hatch after 32-42 days. Males bring food to the females, and the females feed their chicks, called owlets, for the first 10 days. After 10 days, both males and females feed their owlets. At around seven weeks of age, the owlets gain their feathers and can fly, but they will stay with their parents for another three weeks before they become independent.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM