Eagle eyes

Bolander reader Roswitha Keller sent this photograph of what appears to be a Cape Eagle Owl (versus a Spotted Eagle Owl), perched on a tree branch in her garden in Somerset West. These nocturnal birds sometimes appear before sunset, giving us a better glimpse of their magnificent plumage and mesmerising gaze. The females are larger than the males, and it is enchanting to hear their song duet in the quiet of night. They only breed once a year, or on alternate years, and care for their young for up to six months. They are very territorial birds, with relatively large territories. Their habitat ranges from mountaineous regions to rocky gorges and woods, and they also hunt in open savanna, or settle in urban areas where they are a great deterrent to rodent populations.