Pels Fishing Owl
Botswana Wildlife Guide

Pels Fishing Owl [Scotopelia peli]

Best places to see Pel's Fishing Owl in Botswana

In the dense riverine forests of the permanent water areas of the Okavango Delta and Linyanti Wildlife Reserve.


The Pel's Fishing Owl is probably heard more than it is seen whilst on safari in the Okavango Delta or Linyanti Swamp, although most guests will mistake the call as some primate distress scream. A 'Lifer' for many twitchers the Pel's as it is commonly known is very elusive, hiding during the day in thick foliage and high up in tall trees.

The Pel's Fishing Owl has highly developed visual senses, more advanced than other owls, and at night they perch overlooking the water and search for fish moving near the surface. With a massive wingspan of 1.5 meters they are able to lift fish weighing more than 1.5 kg out the water.

Feeding mainly of fish the pel's diet also includes amphibians, crustaceans and baby crocodiles.

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