The 3 Species of Owls Found in Mali! (2023)
Do you want to know the different types of owls in Mali?
If so, you have come to the right place. In the article below, I have listed the owls you can expect to see. For each species, you will find out how to identify each owl correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!
The temptation to intersperse this entire article with puns is almost overwhelming. I could just wing it and beak-off about these birds all day long, but I really do give a hoot, and soon you would be talon me to stop it. Ok, settle down because that is owl you get. 🙂
Keep reading to learn about 3 Types of owls found in Mali!
#1. Pearl-spotted Owlet
- Glaucidium perlatum
- The facial disc is brown and white, with yellow eyes and a yellow beak.
- The upper body is brown with white spots and two dark spots outlined in white form false “eyes” on the back of its head.
- Adults are 6.6 to 8.3 inches (17 to 21 cm) long with a wing length of 4 to 4.7 inches (10-12 cm).
The tiny Pearl-spotted Owlet is the smallest owl in Mali.
Even the fully-grown adults are called owlets because of how little they are!
This species is active throughout the day and at night but prefers to hunt in the dark. During the day, the Pearl-spotted Owlet roosts in small bushes and often bathes in open water. You’re likely to see one splashing around in a lake, stream, or large pond.
The Pearl-spotted Owlet usually hunts grasshoppers and crickets. However, they also hunt lizards, small rodents, bats, snakes, or other small birds if those prey species are available.
They give a loud series of short shrills that start slow and then accelerate in tempo and pitch. Towards the end of the shrill, the tempo and the pitch lower again, with the last two shrills being longer. When distressed, Pearl-spotted Owlets alert their mates through soft whistles and peeps.
#2. Pharaoh Eagle-Owl
- Bubo ascalaphus
- This species has a facial with a dark outline, a robust black beak, small ear tufts, and orange-yellow eyes.
- Their coloring is spotted with dark brown, yellow-orange, and pale brown with less common creamy white spots.
- Adults grow to between 18 and 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) long with a wingspan of 12.8 to 16.75 inches (33 to 43 cm).
The Pharaoh Eagle Owl is primarily found in big, open spaces with rocky outcrops. They build their nests out of grasses and other plant materials in grooves in the rock.
Your best chance to see a Pharaoh Eagle-owl is around dusk as it starts its hunt for food. They catch small mammals, birds, snakes, reptiles, and occasionally insects. To find their prey, they perch on a high rock or branch, listening and looking for any movement on the ground.
Listen for a low-pitched call that sounds like “hoo-ahh” repeated every four to five seconds. They use their calls for courtship, as well as to advertise their territory.
#3. Greyish Eagle Owl
- Bubo cinerascens
- This species’ facial disk is a medium brown with a dark outline. Its eyes are dark brown, and its beak is gray.
- The coloring is brown mottled with cream on the back and wings, and the underside is white to pale cream.
- Adults are about 17 inches (43 cm) long with a wingspan of 11 to 13 inches (28 to 33 cm).
The Greyish Eagle Owl is found in southern Mali in open savannahs and dry, rocky deserts. They roost during the day in rocky outcrops, bushes, tree foliage, or in deserted manufactured structures like outbuildings and barns.
Its diet consists of large insects and spiders. The Greyish Eagle hunts at night from a perch, where it sits, and waits for prey to get closer. Occasionally, this species will also “hawk” flying insects directly from the air while gliding!
Do you need more help identifying an owl you saw in Mali?
If so, check out this field guide, which is full of great information!
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And be sure to check out these other articles about animals in Mali:
Which of these owls have you seen before in Mali?
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