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Taliabu Masked Owl - Tyto nigrobrunnea

Also known as Sula Island Masked Owl

Introduction: The Taliabu Masked Owl is a medium-sized owl with no ear-tufts. Very little is known about this rare species.

[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 pale reddish-brown, becoming darker towards the eyes. The rim is similar in colour. The eyes are blackish-brown, and the bill blackish-grey.
Upperparts are dark brown, with whitish speckles from the crown to the lower back and on the wing coverts. Primaries are uniform brown with whitish tips. The tail is brown with three darker bars.
Underparts are deep golden-brown with dark spots, with some of the spots having pale areas.
Legs are feathered reddish-brown to the lower third of the tarsi. The toes and the bare parts of the tarsi are grey. The claws are blackish.

Size: One specimen - Length 31cm. Wing length 283mm. Tail length 125mm. Weight unknown.

Habits: The Habits of the Taliabu Masked Owl are unknown.

Voice: A hissing sound typical of barn owls.

Hunting & Food: Unknown, probably similar to other barn owls.

Breeding: Unknown.

Habitat: One specimen was found in a lowland forest. More recent sightings have been in heavily logged forest and dense secondary bamboo thickets. It apparently occurs within a broad elevational range.

Distribution: Taliabu Island in the Sula Archipelago in the Moluccan Sea.

Distribution of Taliabu Masked Owl - Tyto nigrobrunnea
Distribution of the Taliabu Masked Owl Tyto nigrobrunnea

Status: Extremely rare, listed as Vunerable by Birdlife international.

Original Description: Neumann, Oscar Rudolph. 1939. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club (BBOC) 59: p 89-90.


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
Duncan, James R. 2003. "Owls of the World: Their Lives, Behavior and Survival". Firefly Books
König, Claus & Weick, Friedhelm. 2008. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition)". Yale University Press
Mikkola, Heimo. 2012. "Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide". Bloomsbury
Rheindt, F. E. 2010. "New biogeographic records for the avifauna of Taliabu (Sula Islands, Indonesia), with preliminary documentation of two previously undiscovered taxa". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 130(1): 33-51

Page Information:

Page compiled by . Page last updated 2013-09-19 Owl Species ID: 010.040.000

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