Creating owl friendly children, who go on to be owl friendly adults, living within owl friendly environments.


Stay tuned for more of our exciting updates.

Heron Bridge College is very excited to have a White Faced Owl.

Date:  March 2019.

Location: Heron Bridge College, Johannesburg, South Africa.

White Faced Owl (Otus leucotis) is a medium-sized owl which occurs in a variety of woodland habitats. HeronBridge College is within the perfect environment for the owl to adapt and loves perching on thin branches.
The school children are very excited to participate in our Owl Release Programme and named the White Faced owl "Jin Jew.

#GiveAHoot #CreatingOwlFriendlyChildren #LoveOwls #PoisonFree

Ipani Primary School gives owls a home!

Date: 05 March 2019.

Location: Ipani Primary School, Arnot, Middleburg, South Africa. worked together with the Endangered Wildlife Trust owl project to educate children at Ipani Primary School in Middleburg about the importance and benefits of owls.

The school has owls roosting within the premises and were very excited to put up owl boxes from EcoSolutions Urban Ecology

One of the learners was awarded a Junior Scientist Kit for knowing the number of rats a family of barn owls can control in one year.

As our mission is to create more owl friendly children. We would like to have every child at the school to be able to receive a kit and learn how to dissect the pellets owls drop at the school on a daily basis.

Please click the link to donate a pellet Kit to these awesome children-…/campaigns/18492/donations/#

St Stithians Prep College.

Date: 27 February 2019.

Location: St Stithians college for Boys, Johannesburg, South Africa.

St Stithinans college is located within the city of Johannesburg and has been one of our owl lrelease schools for more than 5 years. We met with the school children in the morning to give them a talk about owls and rat poison. We then placed a set of barn owls in the release pen for the children to care for until they are ready for release, these owls were collected for the SPCA and facilitates the release after care from the Johannesburg Wildlife Vet.

Its always a great pleasure educating learners who show love and are for the environment, rat poison is not advisable to be used anywhere, be it the school grounds or any other property.

These owl friendly children will care for the barn owls along with the school teacher Mrs Dryden.

We Give A Hoot!

Radford House Puts a ring on it!

Date:  25 February 2019.

Location: Radford House School, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Awesome morning of creating owl friendly and knowledgeable children at Raford House. The owl release was initiated as a school project for the learners to have a tangible lesson for their Harry Potter School Play. They Named the Owls HoOdini and Owlpochino.

We put some rings on the owls and the children we re very thrilled to be up close and personal with the birds.

Owl Talk at Radford House.

Date:  21 February 2019.

Location: Radford House School, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Wonderful audience we had at Radford House as they learn about the importance and benefits of owls as well as their special flight ability and many more.

There is no such thing as an Owl-Friendly Rat Poison.

There is no conservation without education.

Would you like us to visit your school?
Email us on

Rat Poison is not the solution, there is no Eco-friendly rat poison!

Rivonia Primary School.

Date:  27 February 2019.

Location: Rivonia Primary School, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Rivonia Primary School learners care for the owls.

These two orphaned barn owls (Tyto alba) were collected from the SPCA and found a home in Rivonia Primary School. The barn owls are being temporarily cared for by the learners till they are ready for release and can hunt for themselves.

Please help us involve more children in caring for owls and eliminate the use of rat poison by donating any amount to #poisonfree #owlfriendly #Conservation

The donations contribute to the management of the release, fuel and materials to provide an owl box.

Click here to make a donation or use the banking details below:

Bank: Nedbank 

Branch Name: Central Gauteng  

Account Number: 1120438225 

Branch Code: 12840500 

Account Type: Nedbank Current 

Account Swift Code: NEDSZAJJ


The wise origami owl activity!

Date:  18 February 2019.

Location: Marlboro Combined School, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Exciting moments:Learners in Marlboro cheer in delight when they see the Owl Project visit their school because they know it's time to have some fun and learn something super exciting and new!

The children in Marlboro are on a mission to complete 200 origami owls for their new friends in Austria. its really awesome to see how easy it is to get children to learn and love owls through fun and educational activities while at the same time making new friends by sending a letter through a self made origami owl.

The wise owl doesn't only exist in the Harry Potter movie but in the imagination too.

Owls in ceiling!

Date:  13 February 2019.

Location: San Sereno, Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa.

San Sereno is  a retirement home in Bryanston. one of the unit had owls breeding inside the roof for the past 20 years according to Keno (the woman who stays in the unit the owl was found.

when the team arrived they looked for pellets the ground and amazingly these pellets had rat skeletons while others had bird skeletons.

As we set up the ladder and prepare the owl box which will now be the owls new home. Hussein thoroughly searched the roof to find the owl, he carefully moved the tiles aside and excitingly managed to grab the owl and we placed a SAFring in it to give it a name of which the number is K52408. does pro bono work and relies on donations for the work that has been done. Click here to read the full article- 

Owl release at Crowford Prep School.

Date:  06 February 2019.

Location: Crowford Prep School, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Crawford Schools eco department has been a great supporter of our Owl Release Programme and 2019 marks their 10th year of caring for owls.

Click the link to read the full article about the Barn owls (Tyto alba) they are currently caring for.

Township Owl Box Project.

Date:  23 January 2019.

Location: Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa.

We have received a phone call from a concerned citizen in Alexandra about owls living in his ceiling, We drove to help him and found a pair of Barn Owls (Tyto alba) which are certainly looking for a place to breed.

Mr Chautsane was more than happy to have an owl box installed in his property to provide these owls with an alternative breeding site so that they can continue to manage the rodent population within the area.

All our work is done Pro-Bono, we need help with sponsoring our trips and owl boxes for township residents who encounter these problems. Please feel free to donate by following this link
Alternatively, you can use the account info below. Your support will be much appreciated.

Bank: Nedbank
Branch Name: Central Gauteng
Account Number: 1120438225
Branch Code: 12840500
Account Type: Nedbank Current Account
Swift Code: NEDSZAJJ

Collection of orphaned owlets.

Date: 14 December 2018.

Location: Midrand SPCA, Johannesburg South Africa.

It is Barn owl (Tyto alba) season again. 
These orphaned owlets were collected from the SPCA Midrand and will be released from one of our participating schools. All of the collection and caring for owls is done Pro-Bono. If you would like to help us provide this service, please feel free to donate by following this link 


Relocation of owlets from a roof.

Date: 14 December 2018.

Location: Jackal Creek Golf Estate, Honeydew,Randburg, Johannesburg.

We have received an exciting phone call from Ryan in Jackal Creek Golf Estate about Barn owls roosting in his roof. One of the chicks had jumped out through the gap and we rushed to give him a hand. He was more than happy to purchase an owl box from EcoSolutions Urban Ecology and have the owlets relocated into the owl box!
#OwlsEatRats #Poisonfree

Karla and Hein visit Marlboro Gardens Combined School.

Date: 8th November 2018.

Location: Marlboro Gardens, Alexandra South Africa.

Marlboro Gardens Combined School has been one of our participating schools for 8 year in Alexandra township. Karla and Hein Bloem from the International Owl Center in Minnesota USA, visited the school on the 8th November 2018 so see the children behind the beautiful artworks that have been done throughout the years.

The children had a special surprise for Karla and Hein, they shared their experience about the Owl Art Project and how the project as a whole has added a value to their lives.

Karla and Hein received a warm welcome with loads of hugs and never ending mind blowing questions about their partnership with

The school teacher Mrs Moodley presented Karla and Hein with a mini Beaded Owl as a Gift to thank them for paying a visit.

Crawford Primary School.

Date: 10 November 2018.

 Location: LoneHill, Randburg South Africa.

Schools are a vital component in our conservation efforts. Whether it be Zenzeleni Primary School in Alexandra or Crawford Primary School in Lone-Hill, children hold the key to conservation in Africa.

Below is a quote from the school.

"Thank you to EcoSolutions and Gareth Gillespie for our beautiful owl boxes at the Pre Primary! We wait In anticipation to spot our two resident Spotted Eagle Owls"

Cornwall Hill College.

Date: 06 November 2018.

Location: Cornwall Hill College.

The Grade 6's at Cornwall Hill College have participated in our junior Scientist Programme.

It is always ideal for every school in South Africa to get involved in the Junior Scientist programme and also form an Eco-Club Programme. Owl education is essential for children all over the world. 

It teaches them awareness, care and the importance of owl conservation when they discover rat skeletons inside the pellets.

St Andrews School owl get ringed for conservation efforts.

Date: 30 October 2018.

Location: St Andrews School For Girls, Senderwood, Bedfordview, Gauteng.

The students were amazed to know that owls are ringed in order to keep track of the owls if ever they are found again. Ringing owls enable us to know how far the owls have traveled and their life span.

The learners are given an opportunity to hold the owls as they get ringed. The owl will be released in to the school and hopefully become resident owls which will control the rodent population within the premises.

St Andrews Junior Scientist Programme.

Date: 26 October 2018.

Location: St Andrews Ave, Senderwood, Johannesburg.

Who would have though that dissecting owl pellets would be an interesting to do with the senior students.

We've had so much fun dissecting pellets with the Eco-Club from St Andrews school For Girls and they really loved it. The learners were literally absorbed and fascinated with the rat skulls and vertebral columns they could not believe their eyes.

Owl ring in Robindale.

Date: 9 October 2018.

Location: Robindale, Randburg, Gauteng.

Last week we introduced you to 3 brand new owlets from Greenside - ring numbers 887921, 887922 and 887923. We have been flat out all week ringing owls in our occupied owl boxes with <100 in Gauteng alone. We are very pleased to introduce you to another EcoSolutions Urban Ecology brood from an occupied owl box in Robindale - Owlet 887925, Owlet 887926 and Owlet 887927. We would love this to be in your garden - have your owl box serviced.


Greenside owl ring.

Date:09 October 2018.

Location: Greenside, Randburg Johannesburg.

We are very happy to introduce you to owlet 887921, owlet 887922 and owlet 887923.
It has been a month of ringing Spotted Eagle owlets (Bubo africanus). Here are a few pictures from ringing the owlets in Greenside yesterday. 
Thank you to all the members of the public who attended.


Owl Ringing at Oakdene.

Date:25 September 2018.

Location:Comoro, Oakdene, Johannesburg.

We always involve the family in the ringing process and encourage kids to help. If done under supervision and with care, children are more than capable of holding an owlet. It's important to bear in mind that owls have virtually no sense of smell, so adult owls are quickly back in the box to check on their owlets and normal owl family life resumes.

Owl release at Lycee Jules Verne French School.

Date: 20 September 2018.

 Location:Lycée Jules Verne de Johannesburg, Morningside, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Fascinating moments for the children and teachers when they get involved and participate in the owl release programme. released two Barn Owls (Tyto alba) at Lycée Jules Verne de Johannesburg on Friday the 20th September 2018.

The teacher had built the release pen along with the children as they wanted to be more involved in caring for these precious birds, it's always heartwarming to see the children's faces glow with awe when the owls came out of the transport box and released into the Pen. They watched the owls peak out of the box and giggled with excitement to have the owls within the school for the next two weeks period.

Owl Release at Rivonia Primary School.

Date: 11 September 2018.

Location: Rivonia Primary School , Rivonia, Gauteng South Africa.

Rivonia Primary School children were so excited to to have us at their school, they had so many questions about owls and what they feed on. we delivered an owl talk to the grade 5 and 6 learners and the little ones definitely did not want to be left out. 

The learners were so eager to learn and even participated in the owl pellet dissection. Reaching out for the surgical masks shouting "Me Me" with a smile on their faces, it's always great to share these experiences with the children the children, they are so special and deserve to learn and be exposed to wildlife within the fast developing urban areas. 

Owl release at St Andrews School For Girls.

Date: 21 September 2018.

Location: St Andrew's School for Girls, Saint Andrews Avenue, Senderwood, Gauteng South Africa. placed two beautiful Barn Owls (Tyto.alba) at St Andrews School For Girls, the girls were so happy to have the owls at their school and were so smitten upon the sight of the owls. The girls named the owls Owlivia and Hooter.

Hooter wiggled his head and the girls loved it, they stared at Hooter and Owlivia with a smile, that portrayed their love for these precious birds. 

Owl release at Carter Primary school.

Date: 21 September 2018.

Location: Carter Primary School, Alexandra, South Africa.

Carter Primary School has been taking part in our owl release programme and the owl art project since 2016. The school teacher Mr Ndaba, has been working together with us teaching the learners about the benefits and importance of owls. He recently spotted one Barn Owl ( Tyto alba) within their school premises and he likes the fact that the owls hut rats within their school premises. recently placed two Barn owls in the release box at Carter primary school for the children to participate in owl owl release programme, a group of children who were attending this years Birdfair from Carter were chosen to be on the feeding roster and they are the ones who will care for the owls for a period of 21 days. 

in his words to the learners Mr Ndaba said " from now on even after the release of these beautiful birds, you will be preaching the same gospel, it is now your responsibility and duty to care or the owls as if they were your own family members, actually they are your family members. You will teach the young ones within the school about their value.

Jackal Creek Fun Day.

Date: 15 September 2018.

Location: Jackal Creek Golf Estate. Gauteng South Africa. facilitated the release if a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) back to the Jackal Creek Golf Estate after it had been cared for by the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital.

On the 15th of September 2018, we hosted an eventful morning at their clubhouse and it was amazing.
Below is a thank you letter from Shelley Olivier who helped facilitate the owl release and also made the event possible.

"Thanks so much to everyone for their support on Saturday at the Owl and Bat morning!

Craig and his staff from the Jackal Creek Golf Estate Restaurant were super-efficient and donated sandwiches and juice for all to enjoy! Corne Van Zyl and Nick Lambrou from the Jackal Creek Gym helped out with the markers and signs for the pellet hunt route! Thanks for your willingness and smiles! were fantastic - they gave an interesting talk about the owls and bats and gave us a great perspective on why we need owls and bats in our environment. They ran a super exciting activity where the kids searched for owl pellets and then dissected them to find out what they had been eating - rats, mice and even squirrels! 

Thanks to all those who attended and brought their friends and families with! You guys made it the best!"

St Johns Owl Talk.

Date: 11 September 2018.

Location: St John's Prep School, Linden, Gauteng South Africa.

Saint John's Prep School is identified as one of our release school which has a release pen installed within their school premises. We visited the school to deliver and owl talk, place the two Barn Owls ( Tyto.alba) in the release pen and also involved the learners in our owl pellet dissection.

The children really enjoyed having us at their school. They are excited to have the opportunity to care for the owls for a period of 21 days.

Birdfair 2018.

Date: 8th-9th September 2018.

Location: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.

The main annual highlight of the project, is the annual owl art project which we showcase at the Birdlife SA's Bird Fair.

Our workshop is brought to a halt, the admin office is out as we all prepare for the Bird Fair. The Bird Fair occurred over the weekend of 8 and 9 September at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort.

This is the time that displays all the owl artwork that kids in Alexandra Township have created. This year’s art project was colouring-in owl masks and these kids wowed everyone. The masks were all so unique – various patterns, colours and some were covered in glitter.

The weekend was made even more memorable as invited kids from the schools who participated in this year’s art project to the botanical gardens. They loved the event, especially the gardens, the waterfall, the Verreaux eagles (aquila verreauxii) and even watched the Bird Fair’s puppet show.

The kids were so proud of their artworks and proud of being owl friendly children. They even started singing one of their well-known songs of invitation to invite everyone to see their art.


Steyn City School owl talk and owl pellet dissection.

Date: 06 September 2018.

Location: Steyn City School, Dainfern Gauteng South Africa.

We have had an awesome opportunity to deliver an educational owl talk at Steyn City School. The learners waited in anticipation to learn about the owls and their characteristics after caring for two Barn Owls (Tyto alba) released from their school through our release programme.

It's always a wonderful sight when the children's faces lighten up upon the sight of the owls, it grabs their attention and focus, it creates a picture in their minds which they will never forget.
The children participated in the owl pellet analysis which contributes to our national database where we identify the rodent species. Each pellet had coordinates of the specific study site and it is essential to not mix up the results. the children who participate in the owl pellet analysis, play an important role within the project.

Tirisano Mmogo Primary School.

Date: 31 August 2018.

Location: Cosmo City, Randburg, Gauteng South Africa.

We delivered an educational owl talk at Tirisano Mmogo Primary in Cosmo City, in collaboration with Eco Culture Sechaba Foundation to educate children about owls.

The children also participated in our owl pellet analysis, which contributes to our national research database where we identify the rodent species.

Each learner received an owl pellet with coordinates in order to assess the study site.

The children were exposed to the owl pellets for the first time. At first, they didn't like the sight of the fur ball. Most people think an owl pellet is made up of "poo" of which is wrong. Owl pellets are made up of what the owl cannot break down after eating. Owls swallow their prey whole, once all the nutrients have been absorbed, they spit the remains in a form of a fur ball which is called a pellet. 

When the learners put on their masks and pushed the tweezers into the fur ball and discovered bones, they got fascinated as they could easily identify the skulls using the provided skeleton key. They went on to dissect the pellets and took out all the bones they could find inside the fur using the magnifying glass.

Tirisano Mmogo currently has two occupied owl boxes of two different owl species which are mostly common in Gauteng area; the Spotted Eagle Owl ( Bubo africanus) and the Barn Owls ( Tyto alba)

The children at Tirisano Mmogo, form a part of our owl ambassadors movement. They watch over the owls within their school and neighbourhood. The learners really appreciated the opportunity to learn that there is more to owls than they have thought.

We held a Q&A session about owls and amazingly none of them had a mythological or superstitious view about owls.

Alexandra Taxi drivers give a hoot!

Date: 24 August 2018.

Location: Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Alexandra taxis join the cause! 


Taxi drivers in Alexandra in conjunction with are spreading the word. If you see a taxi with our bumper sticker, send us a pic, including the number plate and your postal address and wait for your FREE Junior Scientist Kit to arrive in the post. The Junior Scientist Kit makes a great present for children and grandchildren between the ages 5- 13 years. 
To view the Junior Science Kit. Click here to visit the Ecosolution's Shopify.

 Owl Release at Radford House Primary School.

Date: 22 August 2018.

Location: Radford House Primary School, Randburg, South Africa.

What a beautiful sighting today!

Urban Ecology is a critical component of and teaching children about owls is the most important pillar of the project. Every child deserves interaction with wildlife especially within the urban environments.

It was really great to see the excitement on the children's faces when they saw the Barn Owls (Tyto alba) being placed inside the release pen. They couldn't maintain their cool when the owls came out of the basket and flew around the release pen. Stay tuned for more updates on the release.

All the best from the See you soon.


Date: 21 August 2018.

Location: Kent Avenue, Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

In every case of emergency, at, owls in distress calls are a priority and all other scheduled tasks are moved aside to help the owls in need. was contacted by a concerned citizen in Kent Avenue in Randburg area in response to a Spotted Eagle Owl (Bubo africanus) which they noticed flying around the parking lot. Hussein Moyo managed to catch the owl swiftly with a net. 

The Spotted Eagle Owl didn't look good at all, the tongue had sores with swollen eye. He was severely emaciated with his bones clearly visible. We quickly put the owl inside a clean basket , covered the basket with a blanket to reduce stress and went straight to the Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic

The Spotted Eagle Owl was diagnosed with severe trichonomiasis. This is a disease which is caused by owls eating pigeons who carry this protozoan parasite.

Over time, the parasite covers the mouth and sinuses of the owl to the point where the owl is unable to eat and eventually can be seen sitting on the ground or commonly – in the bird bath – in desperate need of medical intervention. The Spotted Eagle Owls is currently on medication. We hope you get well buddy!

The Alexandra owl art evaluation day.

Date: 17 August 2018.

Location: Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa. visited three schools in Alexandra to continue with the owl mask project.

Carter Primary School is all set up and ready to throw a masquerade show at the Birdlife SA's Bird Fair this coming September. Iphutheng Primary School children waited in anticipation, to receive a bucket of oil pastels to start colouring their owl masks. The fascination and excitement on their faces was out of this world.

We assess the children's artwork accordingly and encourage them to use colours which go together and explore their creative imagination. The children explored their creative skills and colour combination on the masks, producing marvelous work of art. Creativity is everything, it portrays the sense of originality, authenticity and effort. Art should be inspirational and reflect oneself.

South Africa is known to be a "Rainbow Nation" and a cultural melting pot. it's really beautiful to watch such young people display their passion for art specially on owl masks and appreciation for these wonderful birds as well.

Every child was given an opportunity to name their owl mask as if they had it as a pet. We definitely can't wait to display the masks at the BirdFair to showcase the passion and the love these children have for the owls.

Kliptown Owl Release Programme.

Date: 16 August 2018.

Location: Kliptown Youth Programme, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kliptown Youth programme is found in Soweto township in Johannesburg, South Africa. The programme was developed by passionate young people from Kliptown to make a difference in their community. began it s collaboration with Kliptown Youth Programme in 2015 along with Riana Neven who kindly sponsored their Owl Release Programme, to tackle the rodent infestation within this area. Kliptown is a slum in South Africa, but full of passionate young people who are eager to learn and make a difference to their community and the country. 

Kliptown Youth Programme is identified as one of our owl release sites. This year, they participated in our Owl Release Programme again, which was fully sponsored by Riana Naven out of her personal capacity. arrived at Kliptown Youth Programme to release two Barn Owls (Tyto alba) rescued  within the Soweto area. One Barn Owl was cared for by the Johannesburg Wildlife Vet due to femur fracture and the other Barn Owl was handed in to the Booysens gave the children at the Kliptown Youth Programme an owl talk with the aim to create owl friendly children. It was aspiring to see their  excitement when they saw the Barn Owls and it was amazing to find out the children knew that owls feed on rats. Thank you Kliptown Youth Programme and Riana Naven for the wonderful opportunity you have given these children.

The two juvenile Barn Owls where ringed before they were placed inside the release box. We ring all the owls we receive from the SPCA's around Gauteng and other various institutes such as the Bryanston Vet, avian exotic and small animal clinic, Johannesburg zoo and the Johannesburg Wildlife Vet. Owls are ringed in order to keep record of the owls should we ever come across them. The information will be updated on the SAFring database for record keeping.

The Hills Game Reserve Estate.

Date: 10 August 2018.

Location: The Hills Estate Game Reserve, Pretoria South Africa.

The Hills Estate Game Reserve is a secure 480 hectare residential estate in Pretoria South Africa, which includes a Game Reserve with several species of antelopes and a community of owls such as the Spotted Eagle Owl ( Bubo africanus), Barn Owl(Tyto alba) and the Grass Owl (Tyto capensis). received a call from the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital about an injured owl rescued from The Hills Estate. The team responded to the call and met with the Estate Manager, who found the Spotted Eagle Owl in one of their developing properties within the estate. The Manager took the Spotted Eagle Owl and placed it inside a box, for safety until arrived to collect it. 

The Spotted Eagle Owl was taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital in Midrand. Upon the arrival the, Spotted Eagle Owl was given a full physical examination. The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital conducts an examination of all the owls handed in to assess whether admission is necessary. They checked the owl for fractures, open wounds or punctures. The Spotted Eagle Owl could not move or stand on its own and was diagnosed with spinal trauma. The vet rehydrated the owl and placed it in a secure, dark, quiet space to relieve it from stress and trauma.


After showing great improvement, The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital placed the owl inside a large flight pen to monitor it's healing process and the owl's weight. Daily exercise is essential to ensure the owl is in good shape and able to lead itself back in the wild.

Owl release.

The owl now fully recovered and was ringed with a SAF-ring, then released back at The Hills Estates Game Reserve. The Spotted Eagle Owl was alert and could not wait to go back home. 

It is currently Spotted Eagle Owl breeding season and they are already looking for a suitable breeding sites to lay eggs and raise their young. The Hills Estate Game Reserve currently has owl boxes installed and ready to be occupied.

The Estate Manager opened the release box and the owl flew straight to the trees and roosted well. Owls are release during early mornings and late afternoons, to prevent disturbance to other bird species.

Owl Art Project in Alexandra Township Schools. Creating owl friendly children!

Date: 14 August 2018.

Location: Alexandra, South Africa.'s Owl Art Project 2018 has begun! delivered owl masks at four different schools in Alexandra Township, Carter Primary School, Iphutheng Primary School, Marlboro Combined School and Zenzeleni Primary School are this years participating schools. With the help of the International Owl Centre, EcoSolutions (Pty) Ltd and WoodocSA The project funded 500 masks hit the Alexandra streets. visited both Marlboro Combined School and Carter Primary School yesterday to begin with the owl mask project with the 6th and 7th Grade children. The children could hardly contain their excitement after waiting weeks for the project to officially start.

Marlboro Combined School.

Before the children began with the Owl Art Project, the teacher assessed their artistic skills to ensure that they pay attention to detail so they can begin with the owl mask project. Marlboro Combined School is also one of our release schools and were the winners of the 2017 owl art competition.

Carter Primary School.

Carter Primary School received their 125 owl masks along with buckets of oil pastels to begin with their artwork. It was wonderful to watch heads bent on concentration while the wooden owl mask cut outs began to come to life. Carter Primary School has been involved in the owl project for the last 5 years. Owl friendly children, owl friendly children, owl friendly adults. The children were excited upon the arrival of they were filled with excitement to begin with the Owl Art Project. The children are half way done with the owl mask project and they looked amazing. The painted masks are full of colour almost bringing the masks to life.

 A woman from Orlando township in South Africa tried to save an injured Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

Date:10 August 2018.

Location: Orlando West Township, South Africa.

Orlando West is a township found within the Gauteng Province in South Africa.

The townships of South Africa are experiencing a high rate of rodent numbers due to poor waste management. Rodent infestation is a worldwide issue and therefore, aims to tackle this problem differently by educating the communities, about the importance of owls and their role as a perfect eco-friendly rodent control method.

A young man called Bongani contacted the to help an old woman from the township who tried to save an injured Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Unfortunately, when the team arrived they found the owl had already died.

Mme Pulane found the injured Barn Owl slumped down in her garden. She discovered the owl after her dogs continuously barked at it, she then picked it up, put it in the garage and wrapped it in a blanket for safety. Mme Pulane continued to explain that the owl actually helped her with the rodent problem she had in her yard. She was so sad to see the owl in such a state. interviewed Mme Pulane, watch the video below.


Owl talk and release box installations at Phelang LSEN Primary School in collaboration with the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

Location: Phelang LSEN School, Hammanskraal, South Africa.

Date:06 August 2018. and Endangered Wildlife Trust have joint ventures in creating owl friendly children.We visited a school in Hammanskraal - Phelang LSEN School which is identified as one of the first WESSA Eco-Schools to participate on our Owl Release Programme. gave the children at Phelang LSEN an owl talk on the 15th of May 2018. Children gathered on their school's assembly point to listen to the talk and learn about owls.

The children got the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and they were very excited to learn about how they control the rodent population. handed out questionnaires to the children to fill out as part of our owl mythology survey.

Owl Release Programme. and Endangered Wildlife Trust returned to the school after giving a talk. The children and teachers were given a talk about our Owl Release programme which they will be participating in for 20 days prior to release. The children will be divided in to groups by their teacher to get a chance to feed the owls daily. The owls will be fed a day old pre-killed chicks fo a period of 21 days. A freezer was delivered to the school along with enough food for the programme and post release.

The Phelang LSEN School children were excited to have us back at their school to install the release box and could not wait to see the owls again and actually have them on their school premises.

Owl Ringing.

The two juvenile Barn Owls where ringed before they were placed inside the release box. We ring all the owls we receive from the SPCA's around Gauteng and the Johannesburg Wildlife Vet prior to release in order to keep record of the owls we come across. The information will be updated on the SAFring database for record keeping.

Steyn City School gets up close and personal with Barn Owls.


Location: Steyn City School.

Date: 2nd August 2018.

On the edge of Sandton, connecting Fourways to Lanseria, Broadacres and Midrand, lies the parkland residence of Steyn City. Steyn City Parkland Residence comprises some 810 ha of land currently being developed to create the largest parkland residence in South Africa. Phase 1 of the estate has already seen the completion of many aspects of the development. Steyn City School lies along the Cedar road in Dainfern area. 

In July 2018, Steyn City School had a release pen installed on their premises in order to participate in our Owl Release Programme.

The release programme takes place over three weeks. For the first 20 days, Barn Owls (Tyto alba) are placed into an owl release pen where they are fed daily by the school children. The learners take the role of surrogate parents to the owls. After the 20 days, the owls are released. An owl box is installed on the school premises. The science behind it is that the owls will use the owl box as a breeding site and they will remain around the school and manage the rodent population. For a week after the owls have been released, the school children continue to place food for the owls to ensure that they do not leave the area. A family of Barn Owls (Tyto alba) can eat up to 2500 rats in a year. This makes a substantial difference in a community with high a rodent population.




Steyn City School has two Barn Owls (Tyto alba) inside their release pen of which one Barn Owl did not have a ring on. On the 2nd August 2018, ringed the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) along with the Grade 7 learners to teach them about the importance of owl ringing.



At we ensure that we put SAFrings on the owls prior to release. Bird ringing is the process whereby registered ringers permanently mark wild birds to study their life cycle (births, deaths, age of breeding and survival rates), habit, populations and environments. To do this metal rings (marked with unique numbers) are attached to the bird for future identification.


Owl educational talk at LB Pipes (Pty) Ltd.

Date: Collection and survey: July 2018. Educational Talk and release: 01 August 2018.

Location: Meyerton. was contacted by the manager at LB Pipes after a discovery that owls were roosting on their site and inside one of their cranes. One Barn Owl (Tyto alba) was found inside the warehouse by one of the workers and he thought about selling it for muti, until the manager stepped in and took it to the Vet. conducted a survey and discovered that there are more owls roosting on the site. Owls in Meyerton use the LB Pipes as a breeding hub. 


It was found that the Barn Owls (Tyto alba) are using one of the cranes to roost and breed. The crane has chicks which have not fledged and evidently owl pellets and bird remains were found on the ground below the crane which the owls have been feeding on. conducted an educational talk at the LB Pipes on the 1st August 2018, to educate the workers about the importance and benefits of owls. The aim for the talk is to debunk the myths around owls and educate them about the dangers of using rat poison. The owl which was found by one of the employee and taken to the Vet was returned to the LB Pipes and was ringed on site. Barn Owl boxes were installed to serve as an alternative roosting site.

Everyone seemed fascinated by what they have learnt and mainly finding out that owls eat rats.

Having a bad hair day? Can’t find your comb? Barn owls never leave home without one!

Imagine having a comb attached to your hand, always available, always accessible, at your fingertips so to speak. Well, Barn Owls (Tyto alba) have a comb attached to their toes. Not all toes, just the middle toe on each foot. It’s called the pectinate claw and is used by the owl to preen and clean and reduce the prevalence of lice. This toe has a special toenail with serration or ridges on the inner edge that closely resembles a comb. In fact, Barn Owls with more teeth on their pectinate claw, generally have less ectoparasitic lice. They also use the hook on their beak to clean and preen and delouse but for those hard to reach places, like the top of their head, where a beak just wouldn't suffice, their pectinate toe gets a big toes up.

Barn Owls aren't the only lucky avians with a comb at foot - Nightjars, Heron, Egrets and a few other species never leave home without one either.

-Jonathan Haw.


Knysna Timber Festival 2017. attended the Knysna Timber Festival from the 29th October to 01st November 2017. The artwork made by primary school children from four different Alexandra Township Schools was displayed at the festival. Everyone who attended the festival really liked the awesome artwork. The artwork was made by children from Zenzeleni Primary School, Carter Primary School, Iphutheng Primary School and Marlboro Gardens Combined School. 


African Bird Fair 2017. attended the BirdLife South Africa's African BirdFair on the weekend of 9th and 10th September 2017 at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. The artwork from four Alexandra Township School was displayed at the Fair. Some of the children who made the art were also present to "Give a Hoot" about the role of owls in their community in controlling rodent populations. 


TOP Owl Painting Project. carried out the Owl Art Project with four Alexandra Township Primary Schools in September 2017. The schools that participated are Zenzeleni Primary School, Iphutheng Primary School, Carter Primary School and Marlboro Gardens Combined School. Due to financial constraints we only managed to make 500 owl cut-outs and we unfortunately could not cover every child. As you can see by the pictures below, everyone involved was extremely excited to be part of the project.   


Township Owl Project Questionnaire.
For the past two weeks the team visited Alexandra township schools in Gauteng, South Africa. A questionnaire about owls was carried out with the learners. Each learner was given an additional questionnaire to take home to be completed by their parents. The survey was carried out at eight different schools. Four of these are schools that are part of the Township Owl Project’s Owl Release Programme and four which are not. This data will be presented at the World Owl Conference in Evora Portugal in September 2017. 



African Bird Fair 2016.


A wonderful turn-out this weekend at the Birdlife SA Fair at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. The Alexandra kids' artwork was a real hit, as were their T-shirts. The owl pellet dissection table was a hoot with kids and parents alike searching for an elusive bird skull. Thank you to Birdlife South Africa, EcoSolutions Urban Ecology, The House of Woodoc and all the visitors who liked our stand. See you all next year.