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White-browed Owl

From Opus

Alternative names: White-browed Boobook; White-browed Hawk-Owl

Photo by Peter MerrittBealoka Reserve, Madagascar, 2015
Photo by Peter Merritt
Bealoka Reserve, Madagascar, 2015
Ninox superciliaris


[edit] Identification

23-30 cm. A medium-sized owl.

  • Round brownish head
  • Inconspicuous tan-grey facial disc
  • Prominent white eyebrows and white speckles on crown
  • Uniform brown upperparts with some white speckles, mostly on wing coverts
  • White underparts with uniform brown bars
  • Dark brown irides
  • Pale yellowish-brown cere
  • Yellowish-green bill
  • Yellowish toes

Sexes similar. Juveniles similar to adults but with narrower bars on underparts.

[edit] Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar.
Fairly common in dry forest of western and southern Madagascar, less common in other parts.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
It's sometimes placed in the genus Athene.

[edit] Habitat

Found in a variety of forested habitats including semi-arid thorn scrub. Also found in villages.
Occurs from sea-level up to 800 m.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds mainly on insects. Takes also amphibians, reptiles, small birds and small mammals.
A strictly nocturnal species. Hunts from a perch, overlooking an open space.

[edit] Breeding

Poorly known. Breeding season probably October to December. Two described nests were in tree cavities, one inside the forest, the other at the forest edge. Lays 3 to 5 eggs.

[edit] Movements

A resident species. Wanderers to northern Madagascar are probably dispersing immatures.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2018)

[edit] External Links


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