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Black-and-white Owl Ciccaba nigrolineata

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Anna Stearns


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black-and-white Owl
eBird range map for Black-and-white Owl

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Black-and-white Owl is resident from central Mexico south through Central America to northwestern South America, including northern and western Colombia, northern Venezuela, western Ecuador, and extreme northwestern Peru (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995, Ridgely and Tudor 2001a, Hilty 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2010). In Mexico it primarily occurs on the Atlantic slope. It long has been known to occur on the Pacific slope of Mexico north to eastern Oaxaca (Binford 1989), but recently a very disjunct population was discovered in Nayarit.

The elevational range of Black-and-white Owl in Mexico is from sea level up to 1200 m (Howell and Webb 1995); up to 1500 m in Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch 1989); it is found primarily in the lowlands in Panama, but has been reported up to 2100 m (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989); up to 1500 m in Colombia, with a single record as high as 2400 m (Hilty and Brown 1986); and in Ecuador it primarily occurs below 900 m, but locally up to 1400 m (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Black-and-white Owl occupies humid to semihumid evergreen and semideciduous forest with openings or forest edges, as well as partially flooded or marshy woodlands and tree plantations (Howell and Webb 1995, König and Weick 2008). They have also been observed in tall mangroves and in arid areas they tend to inhabit evergreen or gallery forests (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Stearns, A. (2014). Black-and-white Owl (Ciccaba nigrolineata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.