Typical Owls (Strigidae)

African Wood-owl (Strix woodfordii) - HBW 5, p. 204

French: Chouette africaine German: Afrikanischer Waldkauz Spanish: Cárabo Africano
Other common names: Woodford’s Owl

Taxonomy: Noctua Woodfordii A. Smith, 1834, Knysna, Cape Province.
This species, along with Neotropical S. virgata, S. nigrolineata, S. huhula and S. albitarsus, sometimes placed in separate genus Ciccaba on basis of differences in external ear structure compared with Strix, but DNA studies show that generic separation not warranted. Birds from Sokoke Forest in Kenya sometimes separated as sokokensis; populations described from Central African Republic to Sudan and S Zaire (as bohndorffi) considered not separable from other races. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • nuchalis (Sharpe, 1870) - Senegambia E to S Sudan and Uganda, S to N Angola and Zaire (except S & E), including Bioko I.
  • umbrina (Heuglin, 1863) - Ethiopia and SE Sudan.
  • nigricantior (Sharpe, 1897) - S Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and E Zaire.
  • woodfordii (A. Smith, 1834) - S Angola and S Zaire E to SW Tanzania, S to N Botswana and the Cape.