Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Fearful Owl (Nesasio solomonensis)


French: Hibou redoutable German: Salomoneneule Spanish: Búho de las Salomón

Pseudoptynx solomonensis

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1901,

Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands


Affinities uncertain. Sometimes combined with Asio, and usually recognized as offshoot, but more likely a primitive or relict form. Monotypic.


Bougainville, Choiseul and Santa Isabel, in Solomon Is.

Descriptive notes

c. 38 cm; 1155 g (n = 1 female). Medium-sized, robust owl with powerful beak and talons. Pale rufous facial disc, blackish around eyes, and white eyebrows; crown and... read more


Poorly known. Local inhabitants report a single drawn-out note with ghostly, mournful human quality... read more


Mostly primary and tall secondary lowland and hill forest, to c. 800 m elevation on Santa Isabel. read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Mainly phalangers, especially Phalanger orientalis, and possums; also medium-sized birds.


Little information. Vocal activity on Santa Isabel greatest from Jun–Sept, suggesting breeding around that period. Reportedly nests... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Solomon Group EBA. Generally rare and local, and wary of humans; thus little known. Global population estimated at... read more

Recommended citation

Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Fearful Owl (Nesasio solomonensis). 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 on 17 January 2020).