Two very similar medium-sized African owls used to be considered one species called the White-faced Scops Owl
(Otus leucotis). They have now been re-named as two separate species. The Northern White-faced Owl
(Ptilopsis leucotis), pictured above and immediately below, inhabits sub-Sahara to the equator.
It is said to be paler and less streaky. It has a two syllable call.
Both Northern and Southern White-faced Owls can bulk out their size to bluff an enemy . . .
and can elongate and thin their body to disguise themselves as a tree trunk (above right with raised tufts).
Northern White-faced (Scops) Owl
The Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti), shown above, lives below the equator.
It used to be considered a subspecies of the northern bird. Said to be darker and more streaky, it has a continuous babbling call.