Hume's owl

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Hume's Owl
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 Strix
Species Information
Species S. butleri
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]

Hume's owl or Hume's tawny owl, (Strix butleri) is a species of owl found in the Middle East, and named for ornithologist Allan Hume and an officer in the British Army who sent him the first specimen, Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Arthur Butler.


Hume's owl is medium-sized, just over a foot in length and a wingspan of three feet. It is light-brown above, and light tan below, resembling somewhat the closely-related tawny owl.

Range and habitat

Hume's owls are found in eastern Egypt, along the Red Sea shoreline and the Sinai Peninsula; Israel; Jordan; and the Arabian Peninsula south to Oman and Yemen. It lives in rocky gorges and canyons, semi-desert to desert, and palm groves.

New species?

Hume's owl was first known to western science when Hume received a specimen in 1878; this specimen purportedly came from Pakistan. Since that time this bird, as well as birds currently known from the Middle East and Egypt, are referred to as Hume's owl, despite obvious differences in coloration from the Pakistani specimen. Recently it was discovered through DNA research spearheaded by ornithologist Hadoram Shirihai that there was a 10% difference between Hume's first specimen and other S. butleri examples; this research included a specimen collected by Shirihai as a boy. What they found was a new species which they called the desert tawny owl, naming it Strix hadorami in his honor. But complicating matters is a possible third species culled from S. butleri, "S. omanensis", which was determined solely on photographs and sound recordings made in Yemen.[2][3]