The Minahassa Masked Owl is a medium-sized owl with short rounded wings and no ear-tufts. The bird takes its name from the Minahassa Peninsula in Sulawesi, where it was first described as a breeding bird. It is also known as the Minahassa Barn Owl or the Sulawesi Golden Owl.
Photo Gallery (2 pictures)
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: The island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Status: Listed as Vulnerable by Birdlife International.
Original Description: Schlegel, Herman. 1879. Notities van Rijksmuseum van Natuurl. Historie. [Notes of the Leyden Museum], 1, p. 50-51.