Our Spectacled Owl


The spectacled owl can range from 43 to 52 cm (17 to 20 in) in length. Mass in males can range from 453 to 700 g (0.999 to 1.543 lb), where as females can weigh from 680 to 1,000 g (1.50 to 2.20 lb). It is unmistakable with brown upper parts, head and upper breast, white facial markings and whitish to yellowish-ochre underparts. The eyes are yellow and the beak is pale.

The juvenile is even more distinctive than the adult, being completely white apart from a chocolate brown facial disc.

The primary sound made by the spectacled owl consists of knocking or tapping sounds with a popping effect: PUP-pup-pup-pup-po or BOO Boo boo boo boo. Each progressive note becomes weaker but faster as the call continues. Females also make a hawk-like scream, ker-WHEEER, which has often been compared to a steam-whistle.


The spectacled owl is primarily a bird of tropical rain forests, being found mostly in areas where dense, old-growth forest is profuse. However, it may enter secondary habitats, such as forest edges, especially while hunting. On occasion, they have been found in dry forests, treed savanna plains, plantations and semi-open areas with trees.


It preys principally on a wide array of mammals, eating almost anything type that is nocturnally active. Various rodents may be primary but other mammals preyed on have included opossums and skunks.