Posted by: wildsidezambia | November 9, 2011

‘Toothless’ crash lands

He may be toothless, but has a very sharp beak and strong talons! So Munene Kermer found out when he tried to feed the 6 week old Wood Owl baby that was found on the ground at Kayube River Estate, too young to fend for itself.

Munene feeds 'Toothless'

Toothless more than likely crash landed on his first attempt to fly, which they do as early as at five weeks old.  The young normally remain with the parents for about four months, sometimes even longer. So Munene may have quite a job of raising his protegé. Although he suspects that the parents are still around and hopes that they will help with feeding the chick.

According to Wikipedia, the African Wood Owl, Strix woodfordii, is a medium-sized owl with dark eyes and no ear tufts. It is 30 to 36 cm long and weighs from 240 to 350 grams. It lives in Africa from Senegambia to Sudan and south to Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Zambia and on the east coast to South Africa.

It lives mainly in forest and woodland though it sometimes inhabits plantations. It eats mostly insects but will also eat reptiles, small mammals, and other birds. It breeds from July to October and lays 1 to 3 eggs in a hollow in a tree. It will then incubate the eggs for about 31 days. Five weeks after the eggs hatch, the young will leave the nest and can fly 2 weeks later.  Its call is a loud series of fast hoots. It is not threatened and is common in almost all of its range.



  1. Hi Munene,
    how are you?
    I send you greetings from all my friends from Italy

  2. Friends of ours, who succeeded in raising two baby owls like Toothless after they had fallen out of their nest also experienced the necessity of gloves while feeding the babies…. The young owls enjoyed a diet of mice and other things that reptiles eat and their daily meal had to be purchased at the special shop … !
    I am hoping that Toothless will be a little less choosy and I wish Munene every success in saving this beautiful little animal!

    • Hello Ann,
      Special shops are not readily available in our part of the world but we have numerous rodents and other yummy insects etc that toothless could be fed on. Munene does not have to worry about the feeding any longer. The parents are back in full force and even tried to attack Munene when he wanted to visit his new found best friend this morning. Peter had to help Toothless back into his house as he had crash landed once again on the deck in an attempt to spread his wings. The parents had more respect for Peter. It is so cute to see the little chick trying to fly off.

  3. Hi my name is dominic i am raising snow flake on a mix of fly ants, super worms, crickets, beef, chicken, and mice, and even when i was not certen what owlet it was i read up alot and tried dif types of tings he was only a few days old but are on the 6 week marker he or she is so interesting and play with lint and small cat balls, he or she started to do exploring and gets up to all kinds of miscive and when i take him to safety i get cused out lol and he hates it when i bother him he opens an eye and looks at me and turns around and go back to sleep he is like a naughty kid and plays with his food and sleeps when he wants to like he is scared he might mis sumeting

    • What a nice story Nikkie, thank you for this. Munene would have been so happy if he could have had Toothless a bit longer and could have cared for him/her as you do for your little owl. They are real characters. He/she is still around though as we can hear every night and one flew down to say hello to Munene!!

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