Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Luzon Boobook (Ninox philippensis)


French: Ninoxe des Philippines German: Luzonkauz Spanish: Nínox de Luzón
Other common names: Philippine Hawk-owl, Luzon Hawk-owl

Ninox philippensis


, 1855,



Until recently, considered conspecific with N. spilocephala, N. reyi, N. spilonotus and N. mindorensis (as well as recently described N. leventisi and N. rumseyi), but detailed review of voice, plumage and morphometrics established all of these as separate species#R. That same study found that subspecies ticaoensis is only marginally distinct from nominate, while proposed race proxima (from Masbate) is better considered synonymous with nominate#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. p. philippensis Bonaparte, 1855 – Philippine islands of Luzon, Polillo, Lubang, Marinduque, Catanduanes, Semirara, Borocay, Carabao, Panay, Guimaras, Negros, Masbate, Samar, Biliran, Buad, Leyte and Bohol.
  • N. p. ticaoensis duPont, 1972 – Ticao (NC Philippines).
  • N. p. centralis Mayr, 1945 – Siquijor (SC Philippines).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–20 cm; 125 g (one male). Very small boobook, with indistinct brown facial disc, greyish rictal bristles and whitish eyebrows; head and upper back dark rufous-brown... read more


    Song a long series of loud barks that starts with single notes and often ends with "about four... read more


    Occurs in primary and second-growth rainforest, including remnant stands, gallery forest and forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little information. Reported to take insects, small birds, frogs and lizards.


    Very little published information. Nests in tree holes; adult with well-developed gonads taken in Feb, and downy young reported in Mar and... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No data on global numbers or population trends. Severe deforestation has occurred throughout the Philippines, but species... read more

    Recommended citation

    Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Luzon Boobook (Ninox philippensis). 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).