This fairly large owl of humid montane forests ranges along the east slope of the Andes from Colombia to Peru, in the foothills of the upper subtropical zone (replacing Spectacled Owl above 700m). It is scarce and local in Ecuador, and its status is poorly known elsewhere. It is mostly dark brown above, darkest in the head and breast, with narrow black fringing to feathers throughout the upperparts. It has broad, creamy white eyebrows, extending down either side of the bill below the eyes, meeting a thick collar of the same pale color. The underparts are paler, scalloped with brown, rufous and black. Juvenile is mostly pale buff, with cinnamon down on the underparts, brown wings, and chocolate brown fanning out behind the eyes to form the facial disk. It hunts nocturnally from relatively exposed branches and gives a series of muffled hoots, higher and faster than those of the Spectacled Owl.