[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Tytonidae | [latin] Tyto glaucops | [authority] Kaup, 1852 | [UK] Ashy-faced Owl | [FR] Effraie a face grise | [DE] Hispaniola-Schleiereule | [ES] Lechuza de la Espanola | [NL] Hispaniola kerkuil
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.
It resembles the widespread Barn Owl (Tyto alba), which colonized Hispaniola in the 1970’s, but is much darker overall, with a gray face.
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North America : Hispaniola. The Ashy-faced Owl is endemic to the island of Hispaniola, and is one of just two barn-owls (Tytonidae) present in the New World
It is thought to favour open woodlands, forests, and scrub, including areas around towns and villages.
Breeds January – June, in tree cavities, sink holes, ledges and buildings. 3-7 eggs. Otherwise presumed similar to the Barn Owl.
Ashy-faced Owls prey primarily on small mammals and birds, but also hunt tree frogs and lizards.
Video Ashy-faced Owl
copyright: David Ascanio
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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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.