Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Least Boobook (Ninox sumbaensis)


French: Ninoxe mineure German: Graugesicht-Sumbakauz Spanish: Nínox de Sumba chico
Other common names: Little Sumba Hawk-owl

Ninox sumbaensis

Olsen et al.

, 2002,

near Km 45 west of Waingapu, Sumba, Lesser Sundas


The existence of an undescribed small owl on Sumba has been known since the 1980s, based on both sightings and vocalizations (although species at one stage believed to belong in genus Otus#R), and DNA tests have now indicated that this owl differs from other hawk-owls of Indonesian region. Monotypic.


Sumba, in W Lesser Sundas.

Descriptive notes

c. 23 cm; 90 g (n = 1). Small Ninox with grey face, prominent white eyebrows and greyish crown with fine close barring; upperparts light... read more


Main call a single, low, flute-like hoot repeated c. every 3 seconds; fledged... read more


Appears to be limited to remnant patches of primary forest, disturbed primary forest and secondary... read more

Food and feeding

No information. Given its small size, diet likely includes invertebrates.


Recently fledged juvenile seen food-begging with two adults on 24 Dec. No other information.


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Sumba EBA. Poorly known; recorded from only a handful of localities on Sumba. Its total range is 6100 km2. Presumed... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J., Marks, J.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Least Boobook (Ninox sumbaensis). 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 14 December 2019).