Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Tanimbar Boobook (Ninox forbesi)


French: Ninoxe des Tanimbar German: Tanimbarkauz Spanish: Nínox de las Tanimbar
Other common names: Tanimbar Hawk-Owl

Ninox forbesi

P. L. Sclater

, 1883,

Lutu, Tanimbar Islands


Along with N. hypogramma and N. hantu, hitherto treated as a subspecies of N. squamipila, which differs from present species 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, a “rapid succession of ku-ku-ku-ku-ku-ku notes” and “frog-like double-noted kwaor-kwaor kwaor-kwaorvs “monotonic, double-noted ku-kuk" and “a single frog-like gurr note”#R(3). Monotypic.


Tanimbar Is (E Lesser Sundas).

Descriptive notes

c. 30 cm; no data on body mass. Medium-sized boobook (wing length 190–212 mm, tail length c. 135 mm) with ochre-rufous head, upperparts and breast; whitish belly with... read more


Main song a series two notes given at regular intervals: “ku-kuk, ku-kuk, ku-kuk”. Also... read more


Primary and tall secondary forest in lowlands and hills.

Food and feeding

No published information, but suspected to feed mainly on invertebrates.


No information.


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species found only on Tanimbar Is within Banda Sea Islands EBA. Considered “locally moderately... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Tanimbar Boobook (Ninox forbesi). 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).