Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Seram Boobook (Ninox squamipila)


Taxonomy

French: Ninoxe des Moluques German: Molukkenkauz Spanish: Nínox de Seram
Other common names: Moluccan Hawk-owl (when lumped with N. hypogramma, N. hantu and N. forbesi)
Taxonomy:

Athene squamipila

Bonaparte

, 1850,

Seram

.

May form a species-group with N. meeki, N. theomacha and N. variegata (as well as recently split N. hypogramma, N. hantu, N. forbesi and perhaps N. natalis); this group has also been proposed as possibly including N. boobook (which see), N. leucopsis and N. novaeseelandiae, and perhaps other boobooks in Australasian Region; more research needed. Formerly considered to include N. natalis as a race, but latter now afforded full species status on basis of plumage details and molecular evidence; until recently treated as conspecific with N. hypogramma, N. hantu and N. forbesi, but molecular evidence has been invoked to suggest that species status for each one is more appropriate#R. Distinct from hypogramma on account of underparts whitish with very narrow brown bars vs reddish-brown with dense equally spaced barring (3); upperparts rufous vs dark brown (2); tarsi sparsely feathered vs densely feathered to toes (3); possibly dark vs pale irides (needs confirmation) (ns[3]); smaller size, best gauged by shorter tail (for which the effect size is −2.74, score 2); and different voice, a “rapid succession of ku-ku-ku-ku-ku notes”and “frog-like double-noted kwaor-kwaor kwaor-kwaorvs a “barking urgh urgh#R (3). Distinct from hantu (with which it shares bare bristly tarsi and, reportedly, voice#R) by upperparts and wing feathers a shade darker and vaguely barred (2); underparts whitish with very narrow brown bars vs reddish-brown with vestigial (pale rufous and cinnamon) barring (3); possibly dark vs pale irides (needs confirmation) (ns[3]); larger size, best gauged by somewhat longer wing (effect size 2.11, score 2). Distinct from forbesi by having underparts whitish with very narrow brown bars (denser on breast) vs plain reddish-brown breast with strong equal rufous and white barring on belly (2); tarsi sparsely feathered vs densely feathered to toes (3); possibly dark vs pale irides (needs confirmation) (ns[3]); somewhat longer wing (effect size 2.05, score 2) and different voice, as described above vs “monotonic, double-noted ku-kuk...; also a single frog-like gurr”#R (3). Monotypic.

Distribution:

Seram, in S Moluccas.

Descriptive notes

25–36 cm; male 210 g (n = 1). Medium-sized boobook (wing length 190–212 mm, tail length c. 135 mm) with reddish-brown upperparts, white barring on... read more

Voice

Vocalizations include a series of rapid “ku-ku-ku-ku-ku” notes and croaking couplets... read more

Habitat

Primary and tall secondary forest; selectively logged forest and forest edge in lowlands and hills... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects, but diet poorly known. Hunts from perches in mid-storey and lower canopy, often exposed branches or stumps; occurs singly... read more

Breeding

Apparently undescribed.

Movements

Resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II (Least Concern). Restricted-range species present in Seram EBA. Considered  common within Manusela National Park (the largest protected... read more

Recommended citation

Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2018). Seram Boobook (Ninox squamipila). 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/55113 on 22 October 2018).