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Southern White-faced Owl - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Mybs
Kgalagadi, South Africa, November, 2006

Alternative name: Southern White-faced Scops-Owl

Ptilopsis granti


Prominent ear tufts and characteristic white face, edged with black. Upper-parts silvery-grey marked with black, underneath paler with black streaks and fine vermiculations. Orange eyes.


Throughout the sub-Saharan region of Africa.


This is a monotypic species[1]..

This species was included with Northern White-faced Owl P. leucotis, but vocalisations and DNA are significantly different.

A thread indicates that the correct scientific name would be Ptilopsis erlangeri[2].


Thornbushes and acacia trees in savannas, open woodland, riverine woodland.



The diet includes large insects and arachnids, also mammals and birds.


They nest from May to November, in tree hole or old stick nests of other birds. 2-3 eggs are laid and incubated for 30 days. Young leave nest by 1 month and are independent by 6 weeks.


Their call is variously described as a tremulous, two-syllable whoo-oooo, or a more dovelike coo-coo.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the scientific name of this species (posts 28-29)

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