Spectacled Owl - Pulsatrix perspicilata - "Moccadoo"
Moccadoo, as a youngster, hatched April 2009, and true to form is developed slowly.......ever so slowly. He arrived flatpacked on his belly, but at about 8 weeks he left his box, and managed to climb to the top of the tree trunk in his aviary. Named after his adult colouring of dark brown, and mocca coffee, but tagged with the 'dodo' suffix, as he reminds us so much of one.
Moccadoo is one of our favourite owls (if we are allowed that privilege!?) He is so beautiful, so full of character in his aviary, and in flight in the barn, will fly freely to guests and still sometimes enjoys playing in the beams, refusing to come down to the glove at the end of his display ……. that is until we walk away from him, then after a few moments of sulking, he returns to the glove for his food and reward. He has real personality which is one of his most endearing features. He now has his adult plumage, and is as endearing as when a youngster. By far one of the most appealing owls at the Centre.
Spectacled Owls are found from Mexico, Central America, and the northern two-thirds of South America, mainly in dense tropical rainforest, and forest edges, but also dry forest and savannahs.
This is an unsociable bird, being generally nocturnal, with activity normally begining after dusk and continuing to dawn, and roosting singly by day in the high canopy of forest trees with dense foliage.
Spectacled Owls eat small mammals including mice, insects, spiders, many caterpillars, bats, birds, crabs and frogs. They use a branch to perch on and scan the surrounding area, dropping with a swift pounce onto their prey. It could be that the majority of the prey is taken in the high canopy, seldom coming down to the ground, where they would be so vulnerable.
Spectacled Owls nest in tree hollows and lay 1-2 eggs, which are incubated by the female for about 5 weeks. Chicks leave the nest for surrounding branches at about 5-6 weeks, well before they can fly, but depend on their parents for up to a year once fledged. Often, only one chick will survive. They are very slow developers, and the young may take several years to reach adult plumage.
All our owls are with us at Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre to help us all appreciate the amazing relationship between mankind and our natural environment and to enable us to understand their unique personalities and hunting styles..... a reflection of our own lives perhaps. A life without the natural world is no life at all.