The Bare-legged Owl is endemic to Cuba and the Isla de Pinos where it is the only small owl present. Though often placed within the Old World radiation of the genus Otus, due to its very different morphology and vocal patterns it is best treated as its own monotypic genus. The Bare-legged Owl is fairly common over its restricted distribution and can be found in wood areas, mixed palm forest, tropical dry forest and thickets. It has been quite adaptable to human modified landscapes, which now constitutes the majority of Cuba. Its behavior is poorly researched, but it is known to feed mainly on large insects, with smaller numbers of frogs and snakes.