Albertine owlet

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Albertine Owlet
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
Families Strigidae
Sub-family Striginae
Genus Information
Genus Glaucidium
Species Information
Species G. albertinum
Population statistics
Population 3,500-15,000 est.
Conservation status Vulnerable[1]

The albertine owlet (Glaucidium albertinum) is a small species of owl found in the forests of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also known as Prigogine's owlet after Alexandre Prigogine, who wrote the original description of the bird in 1983.


Albertine 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 with fine white streaks on the crown, while the face bears yellow eyes inside a light-colored "X"-pattern framing the center of the face. The top portion of the body is brown in color, with the shoulders spotted in white laid out in a distinctive row. The chest and belly are white, overlaid with brown bars on the chest, and brown spots on the belly. Overall, the coloration and patter is similar to the African barred owlet, but somewhat richer. Females are similar in coloration, but slightly larger in size.


Knowledge of the albertine owlet is lacking. The species is known only from up to five specimens collected in the montane forested areas of the Albertine Rift region near the Itombwe Mountains and Lake Edward in the D.R. Congo, and several sightings in Rwanda; breeding and diet are believed to be similar to African barred owlets. The area it inhabits has been the subject of deforestation within the Itombwe Mountains as well as the Kahuzi-Biéga National Park and Nyungwe Forest Reserve, the reasons which include crop failures in nearby pastoral land, hunting, and camps created by refugees fleeing violence in Rwanda and Burundi.