Fluffy

Last season's chick is losing it's fluff and growing  a fine cape of feathers.  Pale eyes which will turn orange into adulthood.
Transforming  – fluff into a fine cape of feathers. Pale eyes which will turn orange into adulthood.
The parent bird casting a watchful eye over the youngster.  Note the orange eyes and the heavier barring on the chest which distinguishes it from the Spotted Eagle Owl.
The parent bird casts a watchful eye over the fledged chick from a nearby tree.  Note the orange eyes and the heavier barring on the chest which distinguishes it from the Spotted Eagle Owl.

The Cape Eagle Owl and the Spotted Eagle Owl are very similar and easily confused.   Previously i posted photos of the Spotted Eagle Owls nesting in Kirstenbosch while the above photos are of the Cape Eagle Owl.  The two species differ in the colour of their eyes and also by the pattern of barring on their chests. Their calls are different too, and for a while we were privileged to have a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls calling near our garden.    It set a haunting tone to the night chorus: a gentle and evocative call, the male’s deep hoo-huuuu,  followed by female’s huu-ho-huuu’.  Meanwhile i worried over the striped field mice landing up on the dinner menu!

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