The Owl Pages

Fearful Owl ~ Nesasio solomonensis


The Fearful Owl is a medium-sized owl with no ear-tufts.

Photo Gallery (1 picture)

  • Fearful Owl


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, Choiseul and Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands.

Range of Fearful Owl (Nesasio solomonensis)
Range of the Fearful Owl Nesasio solomonensis

Status: Apparently rare. Listed as Vulnerable by Birdlife International.

Original Description: Hartert, Ernst Johann Otto. 1901. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club (BBOC) 12: p. 25.

References: (may contain affiliate links)
BirdLife International. 2020. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN.
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.
Nesasio solomonensis at Xeno-canto.

See also: Other owls from Oceania, Genus: Nesasio.

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