Pulsatrix perspicillata (Latham, 1790)
Range: Southern Mexico through northern and central South America
Habitat: Tropical Rainforest, Wooded Savannah
Diet: Small Mammals, Birds, Frogs, Insects
Social Grouping: Solitary, Paired
Reproduction: Monogamous. Breed in dry season or early wet season. Nest in tree hollows. 1-2 eggs incubated by female for 5 weeks, both parents assist with rearing. Chicks leave nest at 5-6 weeks old, depend on parents until one year old. Usually only one chick survives. Mature at 3-5 years old.
Lifespan: 25 Years (Captivity)
Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern, CITES Appendix II
- Body length 43-52 centimeters, wingspan 68-90 centimeters, weight 450-900 grams. Females larger than males
- Dark brown plumage on back, breast and belly are pale yellow or buff. The bright yellow-orange eyes are encircled with white (giving the owl the appearance that it is wearing spectacles) and the chin is white. Juveniles are white with brown facial markings
- Most common call is a series of guttural tapping sounds (like a pop), gradually descending in volume and pitch (known as the "knocking owl" in some areas). Females make a whistling scream
- Typically nocturnal, but will sometimes hunt during the day
- Largest owl in much of its range (except for occasionally-visiting great horned owl), can take prey larger than itself, such as opossums, skunks, agoutis, and sloths. Will also take small insect prey, gleaning them off of leaves
- Six subspecies recognized, varying in coloration and patterning of plumage. Subspecies from Trinidad and Tobago (P. p. trinitatis) was considered a possible separate species, now likely extinct.