The Owl Pages

Little Sumba Hawk Owl ~ Ninox sumbaensis


The Little Sumba Hawk Owl is a small owl with no ear-tufts. It is also known as the Little Sumba Boobook or the Least Boobook.

Photo Gallery (2 pictures)

  • Little Sumba Hawk Owl
  • Little Sumba Hawk Owl


Description: The face is Grey with white eye-brows, while the crown is greyish with fine barring. The bill goes from horn to yellow at the tip. Eyes are yellow.
The throat is rufous with dark stripes and the lower breast is white with dark stripes. Upper parts are light brown with fine, widely spaced dark brown stripes. Scapulars are white.
The underside of the flight feathers are barred rufous and cream, and the upperside is barred rufous and dark brown. The tail has 12-13 dark brown bars on a light rufous-brown background.
The legs are feathered on the front down to the toes, but almost bare on the back. The toes have bristly feathers on the top. Feet are yellow, as are the claws, which have have a grey-black tip.

Size: One specimen: Body Length 23cm. Wing length 176mm. Tail Length 100mm. Weight 90g.

Voice: Single, low, whistled "who" repeated every 3 seconds.

Hunting & Food: Unknown.

Breeding: Unknown.

Habitat: Primary and Secondary forest of around 600m elevation.

Distribution: Endemic to the island of Sumba in the Lesser Sundas, Indonesia.

Range of Little Sumba Hawk Owl (Ninox sumbaensis)
Range of the Little Sumba Hawk Owl Ninox sumbaensis

Status: Listed as Endangered by Birdlife International.

Original Description: Olsen, Wink, Sauer-Gurth & Trost. 2002. Emu, 102, p. 223-231.

References: (may contain affiliate links)
BirdLife International. 2020. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN.
International Ornithological Congress. 2023. "IOC World Bird List - Owls".
König, Claus & Weick, Friedhelm. 2008. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition)". Yale University Press.
Olsen, Jerry ; Wink, Michael; Sauer-Gürth, Hedi & Trost, Susan. 2002. "A new Ninox owl from Sumba, Indonesia". EMU vol. 102, CSIRO for the RAOU.
Ninox sumbaensis at Xeno-canto.

See also: Other owls from Asia, Genus: Ninox.

Page by Deane Lewis. Last updated 2020-11-08. Copyright Information.