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Black-and-white Owl Ciccaba nigrolineata

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

Diet and Foraging


The diet of Black-and-white Owl is made up of insects, bats, other small mammals, and birds (Ibañez et al. 1992, Gerhardt et al. 1994a). In a sample of 73 pellets from a single pair of owls in Guatemala, all pellets contained insects, and 26% contained only insects (Gerhardt et al. 1994a); insects were regular, but less dominant, items in the diet of a pair from Venezuela (Ibañez et al. 1992). The insects consumed by Black-and-white Owls are predominately coleopterans and orthopterans (Ibañez et al. 1992, Gerhardt et al. 1994a).

Bats are the most frequent vertebrate in the diet, while rodents are consumed only rarely (Ibañez et al. 1992, Gerhardt et al. 1994a). Frogs and small birds also are taken occasionally (Ibañez et al. 1992, Sandoval et al. 2008); birds reported in the diet of Black-and-white Owl include Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), a thrush (Turdus sp.), Burnished-buff Tanager (Tangara cayana), Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus), Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo), and a seedeater (Sporophila sp.) (Ibañez et al. 1992, Sandoval et al. 2008).

Foraging Behavior

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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.