Pearl-spotted Owlet

Pearl-spotted Owlet, Zambia, Africa

Pearl-spotted Owlet, Zambia, Africa

I spent many nights learning the sounds of the Pearl-spotted Owlet as we tromped through the dark African woods, searching for this sweet little owl.  Although we could hear it, and it seemed nearby, we never did find it.


I returned home, however, having thoroughly learned one of its calls–could mimic it by whistling.   Five ascending whistle notes to a crescendo, and then a quick descent.


A small owl, only found in Africa, it is 7.5 inches (19 cm) long, and found in Kenya and other sub-Saharan areas.  These are not baby owls, they are just small owls.   Glaucidium perlatum is especially vocal at dusk and can be seen during the day (if you’re lucky) and at night.


When I returned to Africa five years later, I went out with the same guide, this time we were in Zambia.  One day we were having a lunch break under some trees, and whooooo do you think was in the tree looking down at us?


All that we went through the time before, whistling and searching, headlamps and flashlights, enduring mosquito bites and thorny brambles…and easy peasy right above us is the pearl-spotted owlet.  Even posed for photos.


I still do my pearl-spotted owlet whistle in our American forests.  It does not attract owls, ever, but I do it for the delight of hearing this clear whistle penetrating through the dark woods.  And, admittedly, it’s a sweet reminder of the African owl that I finally got to see.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander




51 thoughts on “Pearl-spotted Owlet

  1. An Owl lives in one of the trees in my backyard, I hear her whoo-whoo every night and saw her only once during the day quietly gliding along the creek. I have never taken a shot of it in ten years! I’ll wait for the right day to do it! Thanks Jet for your post! 🙂

    • We have owls in our backyard too, the western screech and the great horned. But we, too, have never captured a photo — I always feel lucky just to get to see it. And gliding, like what you saw, is so wonderful. They’re such impeccably quiet fliers! Thanks so much, HJ! 😀

  2. Jet it would be great fun if you had a bit of audio of the bird and your whistle. We could rate your whistling skills. How incredible for your to find the wee owl so easily the second time.

    • Your comment made me laugh, Sue…my puckered up face whistling like an owl. lol. So very glad you enjoyed the owl post, and, as always, I appreciate your visit and for starting my day with a smile. 😀 😀

    • I couldn’t believe it! All we were doing was eating our lunch, not even looking; yes, my friend, I did feel like I had found a treasure. Many thanks for your visit and comment. 😀

  3. “Five ascending whistle notes to a crescendo, and then a quick descent.” That sounds difficult for me Jet 😀 I am good at whistling to call my dog but I am not sure if that whistle works 🙂 Oh the owl looks so adorable!

    • It’s fun to whistle, but then, I do whistle a lot. It takes practice I guess. Dear Indah, thanks so much for your visit and comment — and have a terrific weekend. 😀

    • “Those owls” is right! They’re tricky, but we get a bit more of a break with the owls who visit in daylight too. I sure enjoyed your barred owl post Shannon! Thanks so much! 😀

  4. We have a Great Horned Owl that sometimes perches near our bedroom window. Its incredible HOOT has jolted us practically out of bed a few times! Definitely not sweet!

    • The whistle has brought in some curious creatures, but never owls. I use it when the other calls aren’t working, as a last ditch effort. lol. Thanks so much pc, always a treat. Please give the western expanse a salute for me on your road trip. 😀

  5. Oh, what another fun experience you had! I love the way the Universe hands you these wonderful gifts with such ease—I think there is a message in that for all of us. What a sweet little owl the Pearl-spotted Owlet is, and how wonderful that it happily posed for that amazing photo. I listened to its call online and you described it perfectly. I’ve been very fortunate to have a Great Horned Owletl land on my balcony on two different occasions. Usually it’s at dusk and I am inside and alerted to it’s arrival by its telltale who-who-whooooo! Thanks for another great post, my friend! :))

    • Dearest Jeannie, I so appreciated your warm comment. I, like you, am a big believer in the law of attraction. I am delighted you enjoyed the owlet story, and how wonderful that you took the trouble to look up the sound. And I am smiling from ear to ear at the image of a GHO landing on your balcony to greet you — exactly what we are talking about! Thank you so much.

  6. Oh,dearest Jet,your posts are like lodestones that strongly attract me.The crystal clear waters of the blue ocean are very inviting,but I wanted to come by your place and read your post about the Pearl-spotted Owlet.It’s the bird of wisdom,it’s one of my favourite birds for many,many reasons…

    Athena’s photo is glorious and so is your narrative!You wanted to meet it live and you did!Our universe receives our thoughts and our Strong,Persistent desires and sooner or later it responds …
    I would love to see all of your posts categorised and published … Right now,instead of being a mouse potato,I would lie on the beach reading them.

    I can hear some Otus Scops hooting around our garden in Athens when the nights are balmy and I just love it and once I saw an owl on a hedge while walking our dogs,but I didn’t know what species it was.Here is a You Tube link for you,where you’ll hear exactly what I hear around our garden…

    Sorry for my trilogy-comment lol … I found your post so exciting!Once again,thank you for what you share with us ~ Enjoy your day 🙂 xxx

    • Dearest Doda, what a delight it was to get this lovely comment. I am flattered to know that my posts rate right up there with the glorious waters of Greece in entertaining you and bringing you peace. I loved your term “mouse potato” and laughed. And I loved hearing about your experiences with the Otus Scops owl around your garden. I went right to the Scops You Tube link and it brought back a wonderful memory of listening to the scops owl in Africa. Gentle, sweet, and relaxing. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment here today and yesterday, it is so very much appreciated, and brought many big smiles to my face. 😀 😀

      • Overjoyed to hear your enjoyed my comment and that you appreciated the You Tube link !I have to thank you too ~ Your posts reach the top through a combination of distinctive writing style and spectacular photos!Take care 🙂 xxx

      • Thank you so very much, dear Doda, I am humbled by your kind comments. Both Athena and I work hard on the posts, and it is a joy and pleasure; and also great to receive your warm comments of praise. 😀

      • Pleasure dearest Jet!It’s obvious that you both work very hard,your posts merit much more than my humble comments.Thank you for being beyond appreciative!Happy Friday 🙂 xxx

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