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African Wood Owl - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by juninho
Mountain Village Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania, February 2006
Strix woodfordii


30–35 cm (11¾-13¾ in)

  • Brown upperparts with white spots
  • Whitish underparts with reddish and dark barring
  • Brown facial disk with white eyebrows
  • Dark eyes
  • No ear tufts.


Widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, found in:
Western Africa: Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands, Bioko (Fernando Po)


There are four subspecies;


There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • S. w. nuchalis:
  • S. w. umbrina:
  • S. w. nigricantior:
  • S. w. woodfordii:


Forest and woodland; also plantations.



The diet includes insects, reptiles, small mammals and birds.


They nest in a tree cavity. 1-3 eggs are laid and incubated for about 31 days. The young fledge at 5 weeks of age and can fly by 7 weeks. The young remain with parents up to 4 months and sometimes stay until the next breeding season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. World Owl Trust
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2018)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1