|Phodilus||prigoginei||AF||e DR Congo, nw Tanzania|
Members of the genus Phodilus are small owls with facial discs resembling a mask. The disc extends into what appear as ear tufts, and there si a pronounced ‘V’ of short feathers extending to the base of the beak. There is a rim of stiff feathers around the disc which, by use of a set of muscles can be moved to allow changes tothe shape and depth of the disc. This may be an adaptation to allow focussing or ranging of sound into the ears. In many ways similar to the closely related Tyto genus
|wingspan min.:||0||cm||wingspan max.:||0||cm|
|size min.:||23||cm||size max.:||29||cm|
|incubation min.:||0||days||incubation max.:||0||days|
|fledging min.:||0||days||fledging max.:||0||days|
Phodilus prigoginei had not been recorded since the type-specimen was collected in 1951 at Muusi, in the Itombwe Mountains, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), until its rediscovery in 1996, when a female was mist-netted in the extreme south-east corner of Itombwe Forest. This rediscovery extends the species’s known range outhwards by c.95 km and lowers its altitudinal range by approximately 600 m. Itombwe is not the only forest in central Africa with a large area of highland forest/grassland habitat, and it is possible the species occurs elsewhere, especially in Nyungwe Forest. There is a possible sighting in Burundi from 1974 and, in 1990, calls of an unidentified owl were tape-recorded in Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda. Recent surveys of Kibira and Mt Kabogo, in which this species was targeted, were unsuccessful.