African barred owlet

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African Barred Owlet
African barred owlet.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neoaves
Order Information
Order Strigiformes
Family Information
Family Strigidae
Sub-family Striginae
Genus Information
Genus Glaucidium
Species Information
Species G. capense
Subspecies G. c. capense
G. c. ngamiense
G. c. scheffleri
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]

The African barred owlet (Glaucidium capense) is a species of pygmy owl in the family Strigidae, and found in much of Africa south of the equator.


African barred owlets are a type of pygmy owl, not more than seven inches in length, with a wingspan of fifteen inches. The head is dark brown to grayish-brown, with fine white streaks on the crown, while the face bears yellow eyes below light-colored eyebrows. The top portion of the body is a cinnamon brown in color, with the shoulders spotted in white laid out in a distinct pair of rows; in flight, the primary and secondary flight feathers are cinnamon to rufus, and barred in dark brown. The chest and belly are a mix of white with brown spots, while the tail is a grey-brown, with buff bars. Females are similar in coloration, but slightly larger in size.


  • Glaucidium capense capense; southern Mozambique to South Africa (Natal and east Cape Province)
  • Glaucidium capense ngamiense; eastern D.R. Congo to central Tanzania, south to Angola, northern Namibia, northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique
  • Glaucidium capense scheffleri; south coastal area of Somalia, eastern Kenya, northeastern Tanzania

Habitat and diet

African barred owlets are found in forests with large trees, forest edges, secondary growth, riverine forests with open areas, and have been seen in open savannah.

They feed primarily on insects, but small birds and mammals are also taken when the opportunity permits.