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#168 Annobon Scops Owl

Critically Endangered

It is thought there are around 200 breeding age owls in the wild, but in spite of the small numbers the population seems stable. They are from Equatorial Guinea, on a small island. One of the many many sites I went to while researching the owl said they are a subspecies of the African Scops Owl, but the rest viewed them as their own species. I am treating them as a separate species. They have a smaller wing length than the African does. I cannot find a general body size for the Annobon, but the African is 1.5 to a bit over 3 ounces. In comparison the snowy owl, the type used for Harry's owl in the Harry Potter movies can weigh up to 5 1/2 pounds though averages 3 1/2 pounds.

The Annobon has fantastic ear tufts which I have hinted at a little in the painting. They typically just raise them when disturbed, so I did not want to paint it with them up. I do love the look of them with their ear tufts up though, especially with their eyes wide open. They look as if they are flabbergasted that you've seen them. Their chest has a fantastic look of a pale bark. I am sure that they would be very difficult to spot when you are just walking through the forest. That could be why they look so shocked when you disturb them! If they moved I might be able to see them. I have very good peripheral vision and tend to spot all sorts of wildlife that others don't always see. I'm sure I'd only see these if they moved though.

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