Facts about Andaman Masked Owl. The Andaman Masked Owl is sometimes called the Andaman Barn Owl. There is not as much known about this barn owl species than other barn owl species. "Scientific name for Andaman Masked Owl is Tyto deroepstorffi". It is part of the genus Tyto and family Tytonidae. The species was first described by Allan Hume in 1875.
Unlike the Andaman Hawk Owl, there are no subspecies of this Andaman native bird, nor is it seen regularly on the Nicobar Islands.
Appearance of Andaman Masked Owl
The Andaman Masked Owl is twelve to fifteen (30.5 to 38 cm) inches tall, though we have no information on how the two sexes differ in sizes. (In most species, males are larger, in many owl species, the female is larger.) This is medium-size for an owl species.
The Andaman Masked Owl has a wine-red facial disk with a broad orange or brown rim. Its eyes are dark brown. The upper part of the body is dark brown with dark brown patches and orange or orange/red spots. The bird’s breast is gold with black spots. The abdomen is off-white or light beige. The legs have white and ochre. Its toes are dark pink and gray, while the claws are grey. The Andaman Masked Owl has a cream colored bill.
The Andaman Masked Owl is similar to the Andaman Barn Owl in size and shape. They differ in color, where the Andaman Masked Owl is red-tinted and orangish, while the Barn Owl is grey, white, and black. The Andaman Barn Owl also has more powerful feet. The tail is short.
Andaman Masked Owls have no ear tufts.
Habitat of Andaman Masked Owl
The Andaman Masked Owl is found in coastal areas and fields. It has been found near human settlements, but it is not known how human expansion into the Andaman islands is affecting the population. Andaman Masked Owls prefer to live in semi-open landscapes with trees.
This bird is considered near threatened because we don’t know enough about the population (a population of less than 10,000 individuals or declining ten percent or more per generation) to classify it as officially “near threatened”.
Range of Andaman Masked Owl
The Andaman Masked Owls are only found in the Andaman Islands off the Indonesian Archipelago. Andaman Masked Owls have only been found on the larger islands in that island chain.
Behavior of Andaman Masked Owl
Andaman Masked Owl eat mice and rats. This was determined by studying their waste pellets. Its diet is thought to be similar to the common barn owl.
Andaman Masked Owls have a high pitched screech that they often repeat and may do so at intervals. Each screech lasts half a second to a full second before ending abruptly.
Nothing is known of their breeding habits such as when they breed, the average clutch size, or how long the eggs are brooded.
These owls are nocturnal. Andaman Masked Owls only come out at dusk.
Trivia about Andaman Masked Owl
The Andaman Masked Owls fill the same ecological niche as Tyto Alba, the most widely distributed species of owl in the world. However, Tyto Alba is mostly white with beige or brown wings while the Tyto deroepstorffi owl is mostly brown, reddish and beige. Some researchers consider the Andaman Masked Owl a subspecies of the barn own, Tyto Alba.