Angola Slaty Flycatcher (Dioptrornis brunneus)
[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Muscicapidae | [latin] Dioptrornis brunneus | [UK] Angola Slaty Flycatcher | [FR] Hibou strie | [DE] Angoladrongoschnapper | [ES] Papamoscas Angoleno | [NL] Angolese Drongovliegenvanger
This medium-sized owl has ear tufts that are well developed and projected to the sides or to the top (when disturbed) of the head. Its large ears are complex and asymmetrical, and extraordinarily sensitive. It has a strongly defined white blackish-rimmed facial disc, dark brown eyes and almost blackish bill. Its upperparts are yellowish-brown to tawny-ochre, striped with grimy brown. Below it is buff or white, with dark brown stripes. It has short wings and a long tail, the flight feathers and tail have alternated buff and grimy brown bands. Tarsi and toes are feathered. It has powerful talons for their body size.
Africa : Angola
This owl prefers open or semi-open grassland and savannas with scattered trees, small groves and bushes. It also occurs in open marshland with bushes, pasture and agricultural land, as well as in wooded suburban areas. Usually not present in dense forest, avoiding Amazon basin. From sea level up to approximately 1,600m.
Two to four eggs are laid in rudimentary nests found on the ground in long grass and dense bushes. The female alone incubates for approximately 33 days. Probably only one chick fledges successfully, though two fledglings were also observed.
Striped owls hunt mostly during crepuscular and nocturnal hours. Small mammals and birds are its main prey. Mammalian prey includes spiny rats, rice rats, cavies, bats and opossums. Bird prey includes doves, grassquits, flycatchers, thrushes, house sparrows and tinamous. Other foods include large insects and a few reptiles. Pellets are irregularly shaped and mostly light grey. Its powerful talons including long claws indicate large average prey. Indeed, the Striped Owl may take prey approximately 0.7 times heavier than itself such as pigeons, cavies and white-eared opossums. Its hunting technique was described as a low flight over open landscape, with abrupt dives after prey. This owl also sits on a perch and watches prey ready to catch them.
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Resident throughout range.