The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

The Owls of Southern Africa

Cover of The Owls of Southern Africa

Author: Alan Kemp

Paintings: Simon Calburn

Number of pages: 184

Year published: 1987

Edition: 1st

Published by: Struik Winchester

Hardcover with slipcase

ISBN: 0 947430 03 2

The Wildebeest's Review of The Owls of Southern Africa

The Wildebeest reviewing a book

I am excited with my latest purchase: a copy of “The Owls of Southern Africa” by Alan Kemp and Simon Calburn. Like most people I am fascinated by owls and am keen to explore this book.

The book is hardcover and comes in a sturdy slipcase. The artwork on the dust jacket is the same as the slipcase. Now for a look inside.

Part One of this book covers subjects such as “the life of an owl” and “designs for the night.” Included in this section is a series of paintings of owls at various stages of their lives.

Part Two covers the species accounts. I love the drawings of all the owls on pages 74 and 75. It really lets you realise the comparative sizes of the southern African Owls. Each of the 12 species are then dealt with individually. This is a large format book, and the colour plate of each species is fantastic.

Alan Kemp has done a good job with the text, which is very readable, yet filled with information. There are also notes on the biology of each species. Last, but not least, there are a number of drawings of each species, some with comments by artist Simon Calburn. These show how the artist has learnt the look of his subject and are fascinating to me.

Some of the subjects in this publication

Barn Owl - Page: 76
African Grass-Owl - Page: 84
Pearl-spotted Owlet - Page: 92
African Barred Owlet - Page: 100
African Scops-Owl - Page: 106
Southern White-faced Scops-Owl - Page: 114
Marsh Owl - Page: 122
Spotted Eagle-Owl - Page: 130
Cape Eagle-Owl - Page: 138
Verreauxs Eagle-Owl - Page: 146
Pels Fishing-Owl - Page: 154
African Wood-Owl - Page: 164


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