The Southern White-faced Owl is a relatively large scops owl with a distinctive white face, large orange-red eyes, long ear-tufts and dark-streaked pale greyish plumage. This owl is a nocturnal bird.
Hunting from a perch, dropping down and gliding low over the ground before swooping up to a new perch. Prey are normally taken from the ground or from branches, held with the powerful talons and torn apart with the bill.
The typical call begins with a rapid, stuttering staccato trill, followed by a clear, drawn out note - whhhhhhhu-hooh - with the hooh often slightly rising in pitch.
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The owl has the unique ability to modify its appearance in times of danger or threat. It may enlarge its body to ward off other owls, or it may make itself appear shrivelled to camouflage itself as a tree trunk or branch.