Bubo africanus nest at Kirstenbosch.

Kirstenbosch, Cape Town’s botanical garden,  is a lively place, well patronized by locals as well as visitors.  It’s really busy in spring when the flowers put on a spectacular show.   There’s a host of activities during this season, not least that of the feathered variety.   The sunbirds and sugarbirds dart among the protea pincushions, sipping sweet nectar; thrush, Cape robins, prinia flit in the lower branches catching insects on the wing.   Right in the heart of the garden at a busy intersection of pathways sits a Bubo africanus – a Spotted Eagle owl on her nest.  In the branches above the male bird casts his beady eye.

The female sits on the nest to incubate the eggs, which takes about 32 days.

The nest is located at the base of the tree behind the large rock, and the female is just visible.

Bones and fur, the remains of a meal, lay regurgitated below the male’s perch.

These are the commonest of the large owls, growing to just under 50 cm.