The Omani owl is a bird that has only been discovered recently in 2013 in Oman, Iran, and the UAE. The very first place it was found was the Al Jahar mountains, in the foothills of Al Jabal Al Akhdar in northern Oman. When it was first discovered, this owl was found to be a distinct species to the Hume's owl, even though both owls share a similar habitat and geographic range. The Omani owl was given the Strix butleri binomial name and the Hume's owl was reclassified as the desert tawny owl with the binomial name Strix hadorami. There is little information about the ecology and behavior of Omani owl birds. It is known though that the Omani owl favors high rocky cliffs, canyons, shrublands, foothills, and other precipitous terrains. The Omani owl bird is medium-sized and pale with many dark streaks on its body. It has proved very elusive and hard to track down and evaluate, which is why it is classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN.
The Omani owl (Strix butleri) is a bird.
The Omani owl (Strix butleri) bird belongs to the Aves class of animals.
It is unclear exactly how many birds of the newly-discovered Omani owl (Strix butleri) species there aer in the world since their population has been difficult to quantify.
The Omani owl (Strix butleri) was initially discovered in northern Oman in 2013. Specifically, the bird was found in the Al Hajar mountains at the Al Jabal Al Akhdar foothills. The Omani owl habitat in the Al Hajar mountains is currently known to be limited to 15 territories.
In the United Arab Emirates, a singular male Omani owl was seen in the Wadi Wurayah Park in Fujairah. In Iran, this new species of Omani owl has been seen in Bushehr, Khorasan-e-Razavi and Yazd.
The Omani owl (Strix butleri) has been observed in precipitous terrains such as high rocky cliffs and canyons. The bird is also seen in foothills, canyons, dry deserts, and shrubland. This new species was originally discovered alongside a wadi or dry riverbed with multiple scattered trees, steep mountain slopes, and cliffs.
The bird has been seen at elevations of 492-1,148 ft (150-350 m) in the United Arab Emirates and above 1,312 ft (400 m) in other places.
Little is known about the social and breeding behavior of the new species of Omani owl birds but they most probably live a largely solitary life, perching on cliffs.
Being an owl species, the Omani owl probably lives for around 25 years.
The breeding rituals and habits of this very new Omani owl species are not well known, but being owls, they reproduce by mating and laying eggs. They nest on high rocky cliffs.
The conservation status of the Omani owl species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is Data Deficient.
The facial disc of the Omani owl species is gray, with darker gray above its eyes forming dusky brows. The color is a paler gray between the eyes, on the chin, and around the bill. The rim is whitish on the outer side and blackish on the inner side. A dark white-edged streak runs down the forehead to the eyes. The eye pupils are black and the irises are yellow-orange and surrounded by black. The eyelids are also black and the bill is green-gray.
The throat, collar, nape, and crown are buff-brown and there are black spade bars of a smaller size on the backside of the head. The throat also has blackish streaks.
The scapulars, mantle, rump, back, and uppertail coverts are all dark gray and have whitish and buff spots. The breast of the Omani owl is buffish white and has short long stripes. The belly is whitish and is not really separated from the breast but is definitely paler. The belly also has thin, long, and blackish vertical stripes. The flank has longitudinal stripes that are longer and thicker. The undertail coverts, abdomen, and thigh are grayish-white.
The flight feathers are grayish-brown and have pale bars. On their upper side, the flight feathers are dark brown and have broad and narrow bars. The area between the arm-wing and the hand-wing or 'alula' is dark brown-gray. The greater coverts tend to be brown, with the three outer coverts having a big white spot near the top. The median coverts are also brown but just the two outer feathers have a white spot close to the top.
The marginal and lesser coverts are brown. The lesser, median, and greater primary coverts are a darker blackish-brown color. The remiges on the underside have a whitish base and a grayish top. Coming to the outside from the inside, there happens to be dark bars that become wider making the outer primaries look mostly dark. The inner primaries tend to have a white base and darker bars that broaden going to the top, whereas the secondaries are mostly white and have narrower dark bars along with a dark and broad top.
The median, lesser, and greater underwing-coverts are grayish-white. The under primary greater coverts tend to be blackish-brown, with the median ones being white, and the lesser ones being grayish-white.
The tail rectrices of the Omani owl are whitish and the underside has a white base and a couple of caudal black bars. These bars are of the same width. There are also a couple of narrow and vague distal dark bars. The tarsus, tibia, and toes of the Omani owl have whitish feathers. The claws tend to be a pale-grayish color.
Omani owls, the few that have been discovered, are very beautiful creatures. These birds have the characteristic alert gaze and feathered bills that other owls do. They have almost round-shaped faces and gorgeous dark streaks all over their bodies. The wingspan of Omani owl birds is impressively big too.
The Omani owl bird species communicates through calls and vocalizations. There are nasal hoots given in a short series. Also, a long series of 'huu' low-pitched notes are given. The Omani owl sound vocabulary also consists of rougher 'vyeet' notes.
Omani owls are 13.8 in (35 cm) long and have a wingspan of 37.4-38.6 in (95-98 cm). This makes them three to four times bigger than verdins.
Being owls, the Omani owl flying speed is close to 40 mph (64.4 kph).
Birds of the Omani owl species weigh 5.7-7.9 oz (162-225 g).
Males and females of the Omani owl bird species do not have specific names. The female owl can sometimes be called a hen owl.
A baby Omani owl is called a chick.
No, the Omani owl species is not dangerous.
No, Omani owls are wild owls and would not make good pets. They have not even been discovered properly and an Omani owl pet has so far been unheard of.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
The Omani owl species has only been found in Oman, Iran, and the UAE. It is unclear if these birds are migratory or not.
The most unique thing about the Omani owl is that they are one of the most recently discovered species of owls and that their discovery led to the Hume's owl being classified as the desert owl.
The Omani owl belongs to the order Strigiformes and the family Strigidae much like other owls.
It is unclear what roles Omani owls play in the ecosystem. They have been found to feed primarily on rodents, so they may be keeping their populations in check.
It is unclear if Omani owls are endangered or not. They are a Data Deficient species according to the IUCN because they have only recently been discovered.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our burrowing owl fun facts and flammulated owl fun facts for kids pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Javan scops owl coloring pages.
Photo by Beverly Armstrong