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Congo Bay-Owl Phodilus prigoginei

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Identification

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A medium-sized owl with a heart-shaped face that is mostly rusty-brown with scattered black-and-white spots; bill is yellowish. One of Earth’s rarest birds, it has only been encountered a handful of times in montane Albertine Rift forest with bamboo, including forest edge. Call unknown, but a record of a bird calling similarly to Oriental Bay-Owl and a “wok-wok-wok” reported from Rwanda may be this species. Similar Barn Owl and Grass Owl are larger than Congo Bay-Owl, preferring more open areas.

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