Family Barn-owls (Tytonidae)

Least Concern

Sulawesi Masked-owl (Tyto rosenbergii)


French: Effraie des Célèbes German: Sulawesieule Spanish: Lechuza de Célebes
Other common names: Sulawesi Owl

Strix Rosenbergii


, 1866,

Modelido, Boni and Gorontalo, Sulawesi


Recently considered part of masked-owl group (previous five species), but apparently more closely related to T. alba. Subspecies name pelengensis frequently misspelt pelingensis; this race is very poorly known (only from type specimen until very recently), but distinguished by small size and different plumage pattern. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. r. rosenbergii (Schlegel, 1866) – Sangihe Is, Sulawesi, Buton (Butung)#R and Togian Is#R#R.
  • T. r. pelengensis Neumann, 1939 – Banggai Is (Peleng).
  • Descriptive notes

    41–51 cm; no data on body mass. Large Tyto, with upperparts dark blackish-grey with white spots and underparts buffy with blackish spots and... read more


    A very hoarse, dry screech with slight hissing quality, usually given in flight; also an eerie,... read more


    Rainforest, wooded areas, lightly wooded cultivation, tall dead trees in open country, grassland,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded feeding on rats; pellets collected in a cave chamber on Sulawesi and attributed to present species contained rats, shrews and a... read more


    Very little information. Recently fledged juvenile attended by adults c. 25 m up in strangler fig at Bogani Nani Wartabone National... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Widespread but generally uncommon in Sulawesi, though fairly common locally in Palu Valley; present in Dumoba-Bone National... read more

    Recommended citation

    Bruce, M.D. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Sulawesi Masked-owl (Tyto rosenbergii). 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 August 2019).