Thursday, October 23, 2014

Introducing the Fulvous Owl (Strix fulvescens)

The Fulvous Owl (Strix fulvescens) is a close relative of the Barred Owl that is endemic to Central America (from southernmost Mexico south to Honduras). As is often the case when one genus has representatives in the tropic and the temperate zones, this tropical species is smaller (41 – 44 cm) than their northern cousin the Barred Owl Owl (48 – 55 cm). The Fulvous Owl is also darker and richer in colour (the word “fulvous” describing the warm reddish brown tones of this bird) and has a very distinctive 6-note song. The yellow eyelids are also an interesting feature that I have not read about previously. This is a poorly known species that resides in submontane pine-oak and montane cloud forest from approx 1200 m ASL to 3000 m ASL. Despite limited data, it is suspected to be in decline due to habitat loss in its restricted range. La Tigra National Park in Honduras, San Pedro Volcano in Guatemala, and El Triunfo in Mexico are some good sites to try to find this species (also in El Salvador). I took these four photo recently in La Tigra, Honduras.

 This last photo shows the Fulvous Owl singing (notice the throat feathers are extended).


  1. Nice photos! It definitely of the Barred Owl we ad in our backyard last winter.

  2. Indeed, they are closely related and narrowly allopatric!


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