The Rusty-barred Owl possesses a similar range to that of the Tawny-browed Owl (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana). Both species are endemic to the Atlantic Forest, with the present species being found in southeast Brazil, eastern and southern Paraguay, and extreme northeast Argentina. It occurs in lowland and foothill forests to above 1000 m, always in forested areas, although sometimes in close proximity to habitation. Principally brown, the facial disc of this owl is pale rusty-brown and the underparts are generally whitish to buffy barred heavily with dark brown. The species’ diet is primarily constituted of small mammals, birds, and insects, although smaller quantities of amphibians and reptiles are also taken.