White-browed hawk-owl

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White-browed Hawk-owl
WhtBrow hawk owl.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 Ninox
Species Information
Species N. superciliaris
Synonyms Athene superciliaris
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]

The white-browed hawk owl (Ninox superciliaris) is a species of owl found on the island of Madagascar.


The white-browed hawk owl is medium-sized, with a body length of 9.8 to 12 inches, a wingspan of 28 inches, and a weight of up to 8.1 ounces. The top is brown and only with some small white spots on the apex and the wing coverts. A broad white stripe is noticeable. The underside is white with brown horizontal streaks. Beak, legs and feet have a yellowish color. The birds show no gender dimorphism.

Due to genetic studies this owl has been placed by some authors in the genus Athene. Further investigations into the final clarification of the genus affiliation are necessary.

Range and habitat

This owl's range encompasses a very wide coastal strip around the entire island of Madagascar, and inland to an elevation up to 2,600 feet; the central highlands of the island is the only area where it is not found. It inhabits evergreen rainforests, wooded savannahs and rocky gorges.[2]


Only incomplete information is available on this owl's habits. They hunt exclusively at night, feeding primarily on insects, and occasionally on amphibians and reptiles, as well as on small birds and small mammals, such as mice. The breeding season falls in the months October to December. The nests are laid out in tree hollows and are filled with three to five eggs.


The white-browed hawk owl is widespread on Madagascar and not believed to be threatened. The World Nature Conservation Organization (IUCN) classifies the species "least concern". However, they have also cited the fact that the overall population is declining, with the blame centered on a continued destruction of habitat, such as logging.


  1. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22689425/0
  2. http://www.hbw.com/species/white-browed-owl-athene-superciliaris