Pel’s Fishing Owl
Call & Sounds

Pel's Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli)

Pel’s Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli)

Pel’s Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli) is a large species of owl found along perennial rivers in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. As their name suggests, Pel’s Fishing Owls specialize in preying on fish. They catch their prey by gliding down and snatching fish from the surface of the water.

The most commonly-heard call of the Pel’s Fishing Owl is a deep, horn-like booming hoot, often accompanied by softer grunting calls. Pairs frequently duet, with the male making a deeper ‘hoom’ call and the female responding with a slightly higher pitched ‘hwoot’. These low-frequency calls carry for long distances. Other sounds include a loud descending wail ‘wheeoouh’ (often given by young birds), low-pitched rhythmic drumming calls and gruff grunts.

Listen to some examples of Pel’s Fishing Owl calls and sounds below.