Southern White-faced Owl

Southern White-faced Owl


Frodo is our celebrity owl, having recently met Mr Tumble on Cbeebies! He can often be found on his favourite branch watching everyone go past making his famous cat-like noises! He is one of our smaller owls but is big on character. He is often out delivering wedding rings at ceremonies which is how he got his name!

Southern White-faced Owl Facts

Ptilopsis granti


The Southern White-faced Owl has a territory that spans through Uganda, Kenya, the Congo, Angola, Namibia, Natal and the northern Cap Province.


Savanna with scattered groups of trees and thorny shrubs. They also like dry open woods, wooded areas along rivers, forest edges and clearings. These owls avoid dense rain forest and treeless deserts.


Southern White-faced Owls feed on large insects, spiders, scorpions, small birds, reptiles and small mammals. This owl hunts from a perch, dropping down and gliding low over the ground before swooping up to a new perch. Prey are normally taken from the ground or from branches.


Nests are built in natural holes in tree trunks or thick branches, but nest platforms of larger birds may also be used. Eggs are normally laid between May and November, locally with a dry season peak in July and August. The clutch is generally 2-3 white eggs.


Length 22-24cm. Wing length 191-206mm. Tail length 88-100mm. Weight 185-275g. Females are heavier than males.


The lifespan of the Southern White-faced Owl is still unknown.


The Southern White-faced Owls have the nickname of the transformer owl. When faced with small-to-medium-sized opponents, the bird will present as large a presence as possible by extending its wings and feathers, attempting to give their opponent a little taste of shock and awe. But on the other hand, if the perceived threat is too big to risk any confrontation, then the strategy the owl chooses is to make itself as long and thin as possible while squinting in hopes that the larger opponent will think that the owl is a tree branch.

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