I captured this owl recently in Arabuko Sokoke Forest while traveling with guests in Kenya.
This groundbird is usually cryptically –coloured, though it is frequently spotted on the side of the drive ways in Tsavo West and East National Park, Amboseli ,Samburu and Meru National Park. It is large francolin with a blackish bill, distinctive bare yellow throat and red-orange skin around the eyes. Brown upper parts have some narrow buff streaking, underparts more heavily streaked brown and white. It should be a straight forward bird, and its identification shouldn’t be a problem as such.
In Kenya, two species exist. African and Lesser Jacana. African Jacana which is our today subject of discussion is a diurnal bird which is a very common species in all wetland habitats and is widely distributed across the country.This birds are well-known for their ability to walk on floating vegetation , hence their commonly referred “Jesus bird”.This adaptation is made possible by their extremely long toes with long straight claws.
Adult bird has a striking chestnut body colour with a bright blue frontal shield which extend to the bill. The front neck is white that covers the ear coverts and runs all the way to the breast, while the hind-neck is black. The species exhibit no sexual dimorphism.
Perhaps the most interesting phenomenon about African Jacana is their Polyandrous lifestyle where the responsibilities of incubating and bringing up the chicks are singularly done by the male. Ladies have good time here!!!
This Greyish Eagle Owl was formerly classed as a race of Spotted Eagle Owl, with the latter found in the southern part of the equator , while former is located in northern part of the equator, this is as far as my Kenyan distribution knowledge is regarding this species.
It is a medium to large greyish (grayish) brown owl with dark eyes. Finely vermiculated above and densely so below with barring.
All my records of this species has been from Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria National Reserve and Kerio Valley. I have been informed of records from Samburu and Meru too.
Stay tuned as I return later next week from a tour and will be preparing a tour report, new photos, bird songs and much more!
have a happy birding week