The Fearful Owl is a medium-sized owl with no ear-tufts.
Description: The facial disc is dusky around the eyes, becoming rufous towards the prominent rim. The eyebrows and lores are white,
forming a prominent white "X" on the face. The eyes are bright yellow. The cere is dark grey, and the bill is blackish and very powerful.
The crown and nape are yellowish-brown or ochre-buff, with a rufous tinge, and distinctly streaked and barred dark. The wing-coverts are similar, but the markings are smaller. The scapulars are yellowish-tawny, with brown shaft-streaks and a few brown cross-bars. The primaries and secondaries are distinctly barred paler and darker brown.
The underparts are deep ochre with narrow dark brown to blackish shaft-streaks.
Tarsi are feathered tawny to the base of the bristled ashy-grey toes. Claws are very powerful and coloured horn with darker tips.
Size: Length about 38cm. Wing length about 300mm. Tail length about 170mm. No weight data available.
Habits: The habits of the Fearful Owl are little known.
Voice: Reportedly a single drawn-out mournful note, rising in pitch at the end.
Hunting & Food: This owl feeds on possums and medium-sized birds.
Breeding: The breeding habits of the Fearful Owl are not well known. Nests are generally found high up in a large tree on the edge of a clearing, either in a hole in the trunk or a crack or hole in a limb. They will sometimes nest among epiphytes on large fig trees.
Habitat: Primary and tall secondary lowland forest and hill forest. Mostly found in lowlands and hills up to about 800m elevation on Santa Isabel.
Distribution: Bougainville and Solomon Islands (Choiseul and Santa Isabel).
Status: Apparently rare.
Original Description: Hartert, Ernst Johann Otto. 1901. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club (BBOC) 12: p. 25.