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Minahassa Masked Owl - Tyto inexspectata

Also known as Minahassa Barn Owl, Sulawesi Golden Owl

Calls - Tyto inexspectata
Typical call Lore Lindu NP, Sulawesi, Indonesia. December 1998. CC Raf Drijvers

Introduction: Found on the Island of Sulawesi, the Minahassa Masked Owl is a relatively small barn owl (family Tytonidae) with short rounded wings.

[For help with terms used in the description, see parts of an owl. For general characteristics common to most owl species, see owl physiology.]

Description: The facial disc is relatively small, pale cream, tinged reddish, with brownish shading around the eyes and towards the base of the bill, which is whitish-cream. The rim is rufous-brown with some darker speckles. Eyes are blackish-brown.
The crown to the upper back is greyish-brown, speckled white and black. There is a half-collar on the hind neck which is darker than the surrounding plumage. The rest of the upperparts are more golden-brownish, somewhat mottled greyish, with relatively large white spots bordered black on their upper half.
Wings and tail are ochre with several dark bars. There is a narrow zone at the edge of the wing from the carpal to the base of the primaries which is dark greyish-brown with white and orange-brownish spots.
Underparts are fulvous-white to pale ochre with fine blackish spots.
Legs are feathered uniform ochre to the base of the bare reddish-grey to greyish-brown toes. Claws are blackish-brown.

Size: Length 27-31cm. Wing length 239-272mm. Tail length 102-122mm. No weight data available. Females are larger than males.

Habits: The Minahassa Masked Owl is a nocturnal bird, but little is known of its ecology and behaviour.

Voice: A screech similar to other Barn and Masked Owls.

Hunting & Food: Probably similar to other Barn and Masked Owls, with small mammals predominant.

Breeding: Little known. Likely nests in hollow trees in early April. Fledged juveniles have been observed being fed by parents in early to mid September.

Habitat: The Minahassa Masked Owl lives in primary tropical rainforest with lianas, ferns, palms and epiphytic plants, as well as drier, degraded forests from about 250-1500m elevation.

Distribution: Minahassa Peninsula in Northern Sulawesi.

Distribution of Minahassa Masked Owl - Tyto inexspectata
Distribution of the Minahassa Masked Owl Tyto inexspectata

Status: Vulnerable

Original Description: Schlegel, Herman. 1879. Notities van Rijksmuseum van Natuurl. Historie. [Notes of the Leyden Museum], 1, p. 50-51.


Boyer and Hume. 1991. "Owls of the World". BookSales Inc
del Hoyo, Elliott & Sargatal. 1999. "Handbook of the Birds of the World: Barn Owls to Hummingbirds". Buteo Books
König, Claus & Weick, Friedhelm. 2008. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition)". Yale University Press
König, Weick and Becking. 1999. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World". Yale University Press
Mikkola, Heimo. 2012. "Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide". Bloomsbury

Page Information:

Page compiled by . Page last updated 2013-06-16 Owl Species ID: 010.030.000

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