Manus Masked Owl (Tyto manusi)

Manus Masked Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Tytonidae | [latin] Tyto manusi | [authority] Rothschild and Hartert, 1914 | [UK] Manus Masked Owl | [FR] Effraie de Manus | [DE] Manueule | [ES] Lechuza de la Manus | [NL] Manus kerkuil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Tyto manusi AU Admiralty Islands


The genus Tyto includes all barn-owls (family Tytonidae) except for the bay-owls (subfamily Phodilinae, genus Phodilus) – that is, the true barn-owls, the grass-owls and the masked-owls collectively making up the subfamily Tytoninae. They are darker on the back than the front, usually an orange-brown colour, the front being a paler version of the back or mottled, although there is considerable variation even amongst species. Tyto owls have a divided, heart-shaped facial disc, and lack the ear-like tufts of feathers found in many other owls. Tyto owls tend to be larger than Bay-owls.

Physical charateristics

Poorly known, medium-sized forest-dwelling owl. Identified by combination of dark upperparts, black tail with narrow yellowish-brown bars and buff underparts with large blackish spots. Similar spp. No other masked-owl in its range. Voice Undescribed

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 31 cm size max.: 33 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Australasia : Admiralty Islands


Tyto manusi is a rare owl of forest interior and has not been found in heavily degraded or swamp forest. It is poorly known but is assumed to have similar habits to Australian Masked-owl Tyto novaehollandiae. The latter is nocturnal, shy and secretive; it roosts in dense folliage, hollow tree trunks and caves.


No data

Feeding habits

No data


This species is restricted to a small island and is very poorly known. Comparison with the congeneric Australian Masked-Owl T. novaehollandiae suggests that it probably occurs at low densities and therefore has a very small population which is likely to be declining owing to habitat loss. For these reasons it is classified as Vulnerable.
Tyto manusi is known only from two specimens from Manus in the Admiralty Islands of Papua New Guinea. Recent surveys have failed to locate this species and there are few if any convincing reports from local villagers. Tyto owls known only from subfossil bones on the adjacent islands of Mussau and New Ireland appear to have become extinct through unknown causes. As with other Tyto owls, it may have been overlooked, but with further visits to Manus by birdwatchers and a continuing lack of records, its population may be smaller than 1000 individuals.
Manus Masked Owl status Vulnerable


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Manus Masked Owl distribution range map

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