What a hoot, Ndole Bay Lodge visitor that we didnt expect..

Just when you think you’ve seen all the types of people to come to your door, well, we havent had the feathered kind yet. And no, he didn’t pay his bill…

Hoot, as we affectionately named him, is a Spotted Eagle Owl.

After accidentally headbutting a cement wall and landing in a swimming pool, he was a little worse for wear. It was suspected he had a broken wing and he was kept for observation and care for a few days.

These owls are beautiful nocturnal hunters who commonly reside around Lake Tanganyika and Zambia as a whole.  Although beautiful to us, these birds are commonly killed by local Zambians as they are perceived to be used for witchcraft. Their bright yellow eyes do seem to pierce through you and with an expression of ever watching malevolence.

It is considered here that if an owl resides near your house or in your village that bad luck will follow.  So they are quickly dispatched with handmade weapons such as catapults or rocks.

Hopefully Hoot will live a long and healthy life ….as long as he avoids civilisation.

So in his honour I thought I would just give you a little information on the Spotted Eagle Owl:

Spotted Eagle Owl is a medium to large owl with prominent ear tufts. The upper-parts of the body are dusky brown with pale spots, the under-parts are whitish and finely barred. The facial disc is whitish to pale ochre and the eyes are yellow. Its height is 45cm and its weight is from 480 to 850g. The wingspan is 33cm.

The spotted eagle owl spends most of the day concealed in trees, rock ledges or abandoned burrows.


Name: Bubo aficanus
Size: 45cm, 480-850g
Habitat: Savannah, rocky outcrops, scrub, open and semi-open woodland, semi-deserts.
Distribution: Sub-equatorial Africa from Kenya and Uganda south to the Cape
Diet: Invertebrates, small mammals, birds and reptiles
Reproduction: July-February, 2-4 eggs laid in scrape on the ground, normally sheltered by a bush, grass or rocks. Incubation 32 days. Young leave the nest by about 5 weeks and are fledged by 7 weeks, but remain with parents for at least another 5 weeks.
Call: Song is normally 1 or 2 “double hoots”, followed by a 3 syllable hoot and then 1 long drawn out hoot hoo-hoo buhoohoo-hooo.

Hoot has since been pronounced healthy and was released today. And admit it, you’re also trying to say the call out loud and sounding silly aren’t you?



  1. The whole thing seems to be a hoot Elise, I wish I could visit you and your partner. My health has been a bit off of late but you never know one day I may make it.
    My kids are well both at Uni now, wife Yuko is good, she is at Uni as well updating her qualifications to teach in Australia.
    Keep well and go for it.

  2. Elise and Craig, I can only wonder what life would have been if you had been around when I was flying into cement walls and falling into swimming pools.
    hoot has hit a purple patch, if you are an animal and going to be injured, Ndole Bay is the place to to do it. Great service.
    Trust you are well folks I’m travelling OK. Family good, Yesterday Gezza started her first Contract in her Engineering discipline, its hard to get that start, but she’s away and running now. Best to you both. Gerry, Yuko and Kids.x😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s