Taliabu Masked Owl (Tyto nigrobrunnea)

Taliabu Masked Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Tytonidae | [latin] Tyto nigrobrunnea | [authority] Neumann, 1939 | [UK] Taliabu Masked Owl | [FR] Effraie de Sula | [DE] Taliabueule | [ES] Lechuza de la Taliabu | [NL] Neumanns Kerkuil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Tyto nigrobrunnea AU Sula


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

Medium-sized, forest-dwelling owl. Female has dark brown upperparts with lines of small white spots. Dark and unbarred wings, secondaries with whitish tips, brown tail with three dark bars. Golden-brown underparts, spotted and vermiculated black. Black iris. Male presumably similar but undescribed

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 32 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 : Sula


Virtually nothing is known of its ecology. The only specimen was collected in lowland forest and the recent sighting was made in selectively logged lowland forest (perhaps indicating some tolerance of habitat degradation). The bird was observed at night as it perched on a logging track


No data

Feeding habits

No data


This inconspicuous and extremely poorly known forest owl is judged to qualify for Endangered because it has a very small range, and hence presumably a very small population, both of which are undergoing continuing declines on the single island it is known to inhabit. The primary factor underlying this trend is extensive logging, a threat set to intensify as most remaining lowland forest on the island is under timber concession.
Tyto nigrobrunnea is endemic to the Sula Islands, Maluku, Indonesia, where it is known by just one specimen (collected in 1938) and one recent sight record (during a seven-week survey in 1991), both from the largest island in the group, Taliabu. There is no information on its population size, but the paucity of records (even taking into account its inconspicuous nature and the fact that it could easily be overlooked) indicate that it is likely to be very scarce
Taliabu Masked Owl status Endangered



Distribution map

Taliabu Masked Owl distribution range map

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