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Black-and-white owl

Ciccaba nigrolineata

Photo by L. Kay (Flickr)

Common name:
black-and-white owl (en); coruja-de-listas-pretas (pt); chouette à lignes noires (fr); cárabo blanquinegro (es); bindenhalskauz (de)

Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

This species is found from southern Mexico no northern Venezuela, western Colombia and north-western Ecuador.

These birds are 33-45 cm long and weigh 350-535 g.

Black-and-white owls are mostly found in tropical rainforests, especially in forests clearings and along forests edges. Also in mangroves, gallery forests, marshes, swamps, dry tropical forests, rural gardens and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

They mainly hunt insects, such as beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers, locusts and crickets, but also rodents, bats, birds and frogs.

Black-and-white owls are monogamous and extremely territorial. They breed during the local dry season, mostly in December-May. The nest in natural holes in live tree or stumps, or sometimes use abandoned stick nests from larger birds. There the female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 15-35 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 24-52 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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