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Northern White-faced Owl - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 03:13, 9 February 2008 by Njlarsen (talk | contribs)
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Ptilopsis leucotis
Photo by John Keep
Photographed near The Abuko Reserve, The Gambia.


Short tailed, prominent ear tufts, soft grey with darker streaks and vermiculations. Line of white spots down each side of the back, white face disk bordered with grey. Pale grey bill, darker at the base. Red-orange eyes, feathered legs, pale grey feet with black claws. The juvenile is brownish with a brownish grey facial disk.


Senegal and Gambia to eastern Africa.


In addition to the nominate race, some authorities recognize a subspecies margarethae. This species has previously included Southern White-faced Owl and the word Scops sometimes is included in the name. Both were at one time assigned to the genus Otus (Otus leucotis).


Savannas, open and riverine woodlands and thornveld with acacias.



It nests in abandoned nests of other species, from May to November. 2-4 shiny white eggs are laid and incubation lasts about 30 days, shared by both parents. Chicks are fed and protected by both adults.

Diet includes insects, small birds, rodents and small mammals.

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