Lord Howe Masked Owls?

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Lord Howe Masked Owls?
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2013 12:03:22 +1000
I have the fascinating and wonderfully illustrated new  Owls of the World- A 
Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola, which closely follows Konig and Weick's 
second edition "Owls of the World" taxonomy and includes many shall we say 
proactive potential splits. Barn Owl has been subdivided at last and many 
island taxa get elevated to species level, including something called the Boang 
Barn Owl from a tiny island off New ireland. There is now the American Barn Owl 
Tyto furcata as distinct from our own T. delicatula, and much to my amazement 
the author makes the claim that this American Barn Owl is the taxon that was 
introduced to Lord Howe island. I'd always understood these are Masked Owls, so 
this was something of a surprise and may of course be in error, but has anyone 
heard anything about this? 

The book is a great read and has wonderful photos, with a profusion of new 
Scops Owls from SE Asia and Wallacea. Oddly it regards the basically unknown 
Manus Masked Owl Tyto manusi known from 2 specimens and unseen since the 
1930's, as a  subspecies of Masked Owl, which I find very strange and 
illogical. This is probably the least known New Guinea bird, and bizarrely 
classified as Vulnerable by BirdLife, when surely Data Deficient should be the 

Phil Gregory

Website 2: Http://


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