Mottled Owl

Ciccaba virgata




Barn Owls, Typical Owls (Tytonidae & Strigidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

28 - 30

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Tree cavities or palm stub, ocassionally uses old nests from of other birds.

Nest Material:

No material added.





Mottled Owl: Medium sized owl with brown mottled upperparts, some white spots in wing, and buff underparts with brown streaks and some barring. Mottled gray-brown facial disk with mottled gray or white outline, no ear tufts. Birds in dry habitats much paler. Eyes brown, bill buff or yellow. Broad, rounded wings, barred tail. Bare, buff feet. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Mottled Owl: Found in east and west Mexico south through most of Central America and into South America. Resides from Colombia and Ecuador east to northcentral and northeast Brazil, south to western Peru and Bolivia. Also found in southern Paraguay and southeast Brazil. Resides from sea level to 2,000 m in many different types of habitat, from dry thorny scrub to tropical rainforests and evergreen forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Mottled Owl: Two to five white eggs are laid in a tree cavity or an old bird nest and incubated by the female for 28 to 30 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Mottled Owl: Eats a variety of large insects and small vertebrates including rodents, lizards, frogs, and birds. Forages by waiting on a perch at night and then swooping down to catch prey with its talons on the ground or from vegetation.


Mottled Owl: Most common call is a series of short "gwho" calls, averaging 3-6 in number. Calls may rise and fall in pitch and volume.

Similar Species

Mottled Owl: Fulvous Owl is larger, has a barred breast, and lives at higher elevations.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X