Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Usambara Eagle-owl (Bubo vosseleri)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is now lumped within Fraser's Eagle-owl (Bubo poensis).


French: Grand-duc des Usambara German: Usambarauhu Spanish: Búho de Usambara
Other common names: Nduk Eagle-owl

Bubo vosseleri


, 1908,

Amani, Tanzania


May form superspecies with B. poensis. Sometimes treated as subspecies of latter; species status based on apparent differences in vocalizations (and apparent lack of response to taped B. poensis call), size and plumage, and isolated range. Monotypic.


Usambara Mts of NE Tanzania; recently discovered in Uluguru Mts; also possible sighting in Nguru Mts.

Descriptive notes

48 cm; 770–875 g. Closely resembles B. poensis; differs in larger size, browner upperparts, whiter underside less regularly barred and with faint streaking,... read more


Low-pitched, weak “po-a-po-a-po-a-po-a-po-a”, 5–7 seconds in duration, accelerating and then... read more


Evergreen montane forest at 900–1500 m; also recorded at forested edge of tea plantations in... read more

Food and feeding

No information; probably similar to B. poensis.


Estimated laying period Oct–Feb; no other information.


Presumably resident; possible vertical movements to lower levels in cold weather.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Following its discovery in 1908, not seen again until 1962. Scarcity may be... read more

Recommended citation

Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P. & Wood, K.L. (2018). Usambara Eagle-owl (Bubo vosseleri). 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 18 October 2018).