Abyssinian owl

The Abyssinian owl or African long-eared owl (Asio abyssinicus) is a medium-sized true owl.[3]

Abyssinian owl
CITES Appendix II (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Asio
A. abyssinicus
Binomial name
Asio abyssinicus


The Abyssinian owl has dark brown eyes, a black bill and gray eyebrows. It is similar in appearance to the long-eared owl, Asio otus, but their ranges do not overlap, and the Abyssinian owl is darker. It has prominent dark brown, white-edged ear-tufts that are slightly centrally located on the head.[4][5]

Behavior and reproductionEdit

Asio abyssinicus is a nocturnal owl. It uses the nests of other birds to raise its offspring. The claws of the Abyssinian owl are significantly stronger than other members of the genus; as a result a wider range of prey is available, including smaller birds, field mice, and shrews.[4]


The Abyssinian owl prefers open grasslands or moorlands with oak or cedar forests, and it is found in mountain valleys and gorges at elevations of up to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) a.s.l.. It lives in the Albertine Rift montane forests, Ethiopia and northern Kenya. This species is classified as least concern by IUCN due to its very large range. However, the species is described as "rare to scarce" when seeking to identify one.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Asio abyssinicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22689512A93233846. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22689512A93233846.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". cites.org. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ Burton, John A. 1984. "Owls of the world: their evolution, structure and ecology (Rev. Ed.)". Tanager Books
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ a b Lewis, Deane. "Abyssinian Long-eared Owl - Asio abyssinicus". The Owl Pages. Retrieved 2 February 2014.