Face to Face…with an Eagle-Owl.

Another of our great memories. …
A while back we visited a raptor rehab facility near Addo. The birds and snakes they have are either injured or taken from owners, who cannot look after them. In many cases they cannot be released, due to imprinting. Sad as some of the stories are, we met this beautiful Cape Eagle-Owl.

06-Owl, Cape eagle-owl (2)He had a Spotted Eagle-Owl as a friend.

02-Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl (8)It was such a fantastic experience to be close to these birds. They are used to educate students at schools about owls and they are full of games as well. We were told that by afternoon they like chasing the minder around the big cage. We found them in a great mood for some attention.

The Spotted Eagle-Owl
He likes a scratch. My wife got a bit of a shock, when he decided its better to get the TLC in a more direct way.

10-Owl, Spotted Eagle-owl12-Owl, Spotted Eagle-owl (3) 11-Owl, Spotted Eagle-owl (2)When he was not happy with this head-scratching he decided to gently ask her to move the finger another itch!

14-Owl, Spotted Eagle-owl (5)Yes, yes, much better…

16-Owl, Spotted Eagle-owl (6)

The Cape Eagle-Owl

Our second eagle-owl did not really appreciate the attention given to his friend and decided it would be the best time to have a stare-down with someone or something.

07-Owl, Cape eagle-owl (3)He first tried me, then thought to have a go at the one-eyed camera lens.

15-Owl, Cape eagle-owl (6)17-Owl, Cape eagle-owl (7)Not satisfied with the lack of reaction, he decided to go at his minder and sure enough they had a good stare-down.

20-Owl, Cape eagle-owl (10)Goal achieved! Everybody is now certain who the boss is and he will allow a head scratch.

18-Owl, Cape eagle-owl (8)This was a great treat for us! We will go back next time we visit the area, just to look in on our new friends. I would rather see them in the wild, but on rare occasions like these, you cannot help but feel privileged for the chance to get really close and you walk away with a renewed appreciation for these incredibly beautiful birds.

20 thoughts on “Face to Face…with an Eagle-Owl.

  1. pensitivity101 says:

    Fabulous photos and the memory to go with it. We have seen several owls with their carers when such charities are promoted in the shopping precincts. Fascinating.
    We had a family of tawny owls in our silver birch tree one evening a few years ago…… 2 adults and a juvenile. We guess they were showing him the ropes how to hunt for mice in the field behind us. We also had a pair of screech owls (such tiny things) and 2 Barn Owls on one of our evening walks. The Barnies were silent as they flew their territorial route along the hedge and water drain, beautiful.
    We’ve heard an owl here but haven’t seen him yet.

    • Boeta says:

      Listening to owls in the fields as I write this and a nightjar! They are special birds, I have always loved them! To see them up close was fantastic!

  2. Andrew says:

    I love owls and have some photos of Verreaux’s Eagle Owl from Kenya. Totally wild and I think you were very lucky to experience them first hand like that.

    • Boeta says:

      Yes, great experience, listening to them now, few in the field somewhere close and a nightjar or 2 as well! It remains a favorite bird to see, nevermind the location!

  3. Thomas Peace (author) says:

    Great photos!
    A few years ago, I had my multiply handicapped students at a big park and there was a ranger there with all kinds of rehabilitated, injured birds. While we were looking at a lovely bald eagle, he foolishly said: “Illinois won’t be displaying birds like this much longer to the public; the authorities have decided that they don’t want to display handicapped animals to the public.”

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