Family Barn-owls (Tytonidae)

Endangered

Congo Bay-owl (Phodilus prigoginei)


Taxonomy

French: Phodile de Prigogine German: Kongomaskeneule Spanish: Lechuza del Congo
Other common names: Itombwe Owl, African Bay-owl
Taxonomy:

Phodilus Prigoginei

Schouteden

, 1952,

Muusi, 2432 m, Itombwe Mountains, DRCongo

.

Occasionally treated as a race of P. badius, but this seems hardly probable, and the two do not appear closely related. Inclusion in Phodilus perhaps questionable, and genetic research required; present species shows some similarities to P. badius in plumage coloration, but shape of facial disc rather different, more heart-shaped as in Tyto, leading to its treatment in that genus#R#R#R, unless it belongs in a genus of its own. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Itombwe (Mitumba) Massif, extreme E DRCongo; also probably adjacent SW Rwanda (Nyungwe Forest) and NW Burundi (near Teza).

Descriptive notes

23–25 cm, 195 g (probably female); wingspan 63 cm. Male undescribed, presumably similar to female. Female deep rufous-brown above, feather tips with small black-... read more

Voice

Not definitely known. Unconfirmed but probable Rwanda record based on call, described as “wok... read more

Habitat

Both definite records from montane forest interspersed with bamboo thicket and grassland, at 1830 m... read more

Food and feeding

Undescribed, but long legs might indicate that it spends much time hunting on ground; the probable observation in 1974 involved a bird on... read more

Breeding

Undescribed, though suspected to nest in tree cavities.

Movements

Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Albertine Rift Mountains EBA. Rare and elusive, with overall population estimated at 2500–9999 mature... read more

Recommended citation

Bruce, M.D., Kirwan, G.M. & Marks, J.S. (2018). Congo Bay-owl (Phodilus prigoginei). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/54935 on 23 October 2018).