Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti)

Southern White-faced Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Ptilopsis granti | [authority] Temminck, 1820 | [UK] Southern White-faced Owl | [FR] Petit-duc de Grant | [DE] Sudl.Buscheleule | [ES] Autillo Cariblanco Sureno | [NL] Witwangdwergooruil


Monotypic species


Ptilopsis is a genus in the family Strigidae. Compaed to the closely related Otus family the have much bigger eyes and different vocal patterns. Two species included in this genus which were formely considered specie and subspecies in the Otus family. Pale birds in Sudan and dark ones elsewhere have been treated as racially distinct (as margarethae and nigrovertex, respectively), but both considered merely colour morphs.

Physical charateristics

It is 22-28 centimetres long and weighs 185-220 grams. The upperparts are grey with dark streaks and there are white spots on the scapular feathers. The underparts are whitish with dark streaks. The face is white with a black border and black around the large orange eyes. The head has two short “ear” tufts with black tips. Juvenile birds have a greyish face. The Northern White-faced Owl is usually paler and browner with reduced streaking below.

Listen to the sound of Southern White-faced Owl

[audio: White-faced Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 22 cm size max.: 24 cm
incubation min.: 29 days incubation max.: 31 days
fledging min.: 27 days fledging max.: 28 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : South of Equator. Its range extends from Gabon eastwards to southern Kenya and southwards to Namibia and northern South Africa.


Thornbushes and acacia trees in savannas, open woodland, riverine woodland


The eggs are usually laid in the old nest of another bird. The clutch contains two or three eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. The young birds leave the nest about a month after hatching

Feeding habits

It hunts for large invertebrates and some small mammals, birds and reptiles are also taken.

Video Southern White-faced Owl


copyright: Mark Sutton


Not on birdlife.
This species was included with Northern White-faced Owl P. leucotis, but vocalisations and DNA are significantly different.
Southern White-faced Owl status Least Concern



Distribution map

Southern White-faced Owl distribution range map

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