Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Fraser's Eagle-owl (Bubo poensis)


French: Grand-duc à aigrettes German: Guineauhu Spanish: Búho de Guinea

Bubo Poensis


, 1854,

Bioko (Fernando Póo)


In recent decades, form vosseleri treated as separate species on account of geographical isolation and presumed vocal differences, as well as differences in size and plumage, but recent evidence indicates that vocal differences slight at best#R#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. p. poensis Fraser, 1854 – Fraser's Eagle-owl – Sierra Leone E to W Uganda, S through Congo Basin to C DRCongo and NW Angola; also Bioko#R.
  • B. p. vosseleri Reichenow, 1908 – Usambara Eagle-owl – Usambara Mts of NE Tanzania; recently discovered in Uluguru Mts and Udzungwa Mts#R; possible sighting also in Nguru Mts.
  • Descriptive notes

    39–48 cm; male 575–770 g, female 685–1052 g. Relatively small Bubo, with prominent ear-tufts, pale-rufous facial disc bordered in black, and... read more


    Main vocalization a long (3–5 seconds) guttural trill or purr given by single birds or by... read more


    Nominate race uses primary evergreen rainforest (but avoids the interior of dense forest), forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, including beetles, grasshoppers, millipedes; also frogs, small birds and small mammals such as mice, squirrels, fruit bats,... read more


    Poorly known; evidence suggests nominate race lays year-round, with no obvious seasonality; females with enlarged ovaries collected in... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common in Liberia and Cameroon; uncommon in Sierra Leone. In Liberia, total of at least 5 pairs in 4 areas each of 1 km... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Fraser's Eagle-owl (Bubo poensis). 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 25 February 2020).