BIRDS OF BOTSWANA »
the Okavango Delta about 460 of the 550 bird species
in Botswana occur. Some of the rarer sightings or
as birders would term it "Lifers"(a once
in a life time sighting) within the Xaxaba area have
included, Pel's Fishing Owl, Black Coucal, Pinkthroated
Longclaw, African Skimmer and Wattled Crane.
The African Fish Eagle is very similar in appearance
to the American Bold Eagle. These birds do not
only feed on fish, as many people believe. Up
along the Savuti channel they have been known
to catch Cape turtledoves, however in the Okavango,
their main diet is fish.
Pel's Fishing Owl is one of the largest African owls
and does not have the ear tufts that are characteristic
of many of the other owl species. The rusty brown
colour feathers with dark brown spots together with
this birds rarity have lead it to being nicknamed
"The Leopard with Feathers".
Pel's fishing owl's main food is the fish. The bird
has long talons and spiny soles to deal with slippery
fish, such as catfish. As the Pel's is in direct competition
with the Fish Eagle it hides in thick cover during
the day and moves at night.