Seram Masked-Owl Tyto almae

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Identification

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A little-known barn-owl species restricted to the island of Seram. The pale buff face, surrounded by a heart-shaped thick black facial disk, is characteristic of this owl family. Note the dark-capped appearance and the crown flecked with white streaks. Underparts are entirely buff with widely scattered, well-separated dark spots. Upperparts, nape, and crown are dark and cryptically patterned, with buff background checkered with extensive dark markings and scattered with indistinct pale spots. Specimen collected in wet montane forest. Distinctive: the only barn-owl on Seram. Recently described; only a few records. Screaming calls reported from captive bird.

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