Fearful Owl (Nesasio solomonensis)

Fearful Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Nesasio solomonensis | [authority] Hartert, 1901 | [UK] Fearful Owl | [FR] Hibou redoutable | [DE] Salomonenkauz | [ES] Buho de las Salomon | [NL] Solomon-eilandenoehoe

Subspecies

Monotypic species

Genus

Nesasio solomonensis is endemic to Bougainville in Papua New Guinea and Choiseul and Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands. It is presumed to be a species of low population density as it is rarely seen and no more than one bird has been heard calling from any location. The Fearful Owl (Nesasio solomonensis) is a medium-sized owl endemic to the Solomon Islands and Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.

Physical charateristics

Massive forest owl. Golden eyes framed by prominent creamy eyebrows, otherwise warm brown. Streaked dark underparts and barred dark upperparts. Similar spp. Solomons Islands Hawk-owl Ninox jacquinoti is much smaller (25-30 cm) with plainer facial mask, dark eyes and faintly patterned underparts.


wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 36 cm size max.: 40 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  

Range

Australasia : Solomon Islands

Habitat

All records are from lowland and hill forest to 700 m, usually in primary forest but also in adjacent secondary forest and forest edge.

Reproduction

Three nests on Isabel were on ephiphyte-covered branches of huge fig trees, one was in primary forest, the other two in forest edge close to many gardens.

Feeding habits

This large owl is the top predator along with Sanford’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi and is reported to feed mostly on northern common cuscus Phalanger orientalis. Phalangers were introduced to these islands in prehistoric times; presumably the owl previously fed on the giant arboreal rats which are now very rare across their range.

Video Fearful Owl

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ecr4tG4xDU

copyright: Josep del Hoyo


Conservation

This enigmatic species is classified as Vulnerable on the basis of a small population which is declining through habitat loss and is likely to be fragmented into very small subpopulations across three islands. However, its total population size, habitat requirements, and rate of decline, are very poorly known.
Nesasio solomonensis is endemic to Bougainville in Papua New Guinea and Choiseul and Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands. It is presumed to be a species of low population density as it is rarely seen and no more than one bird has been heard calling from any location. In a well-studied area at Tirotonga on Isabel, three nests were about 2 km apart, which would extrapolate to an approximate total population of c.3,000 pairs, but it appears to be unusually common in this area.
Fearful Owl status Vulnerable

Migration

Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Fearful Owl distribution range map

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