Abyssinian owl

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Abyssinian owl
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Asio
Species: A. abyssinicus
Binomial name
Asio abyssinicus
(Guérin-Méneville, 1843)

The Abyssinian owl or African long-eared owl (Asio abyssinicus) is a medium-sized true owl.[2]


They are described with yellow eyes, a black bill and gray eyebrows. It is similar in appearance to the long-eared owl, Asio otus, but their ranges aren't overlapping and the Abyssinian owl is darker. It has prominent dark brown, white-edged ear tufts that are slightly centrally located on the head.[3][4]

Behavior and Reproduction[edit]

Asio abyssinicus is a nocturnal owl. Strangely enough, they use the nests of other birds to raise their offspring. They have significantly stronger claws other members of their genus, and have a wider range of potential prey as a result, including smaller birds, field mice, and shrews.[3]


This owl prefers open grasslands or moorlands with oak or cedar forests, and it occurs in mountain valleys and gorges up to 3900 meters (12,800 ft.) above sea level. It lives in a large range in Africa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Ethiopia. They are regarded as a least concern by IUCN due to their very large range, but are described as rare to scarce when looking to identify one.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Asio abyssinicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Burton, John A. 1984. "Owls of the world: their evolution, structure and ecology (Rev. Ed.)". Tanager Books
  3. ^ a b del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1999. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
  4. ^ a b Lewis, Deane. "Abyssinian Long-eared Owl - Asio abyssinicus". The Owl Pages. Retrieved 2 February 2014.