Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Black-and-white Owl Ciccaba nigrolineata

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


Geographic Variation

Black-and-white Owl is monotypic (but see Systematics).

Related Species

Described as Ciccaba nigrolineata Sclater 1859; type locality "in Mexico Meridionali"; Oaxaca suggested by Kelso (1932).

Ciccaba nigrolineata is similar to Ciccaba huhula (Black-banded Owl) of eastern South America. A taxon described as Syrnium spilonotum Sharpe 1875 (type locality "Bogota", Colombia) was recognized as a subspecies of nigrolineata by Ridgway (1914), who diagnosed spilonota as with "black bars on under parts broader; upper parts with white bars on back, scapulars, etc.". Chapman (1917) apparently did not see the type of spilonota, but reported no differences between specimens of Ciccaba nigrolineata from Colombia and those from elsewhere in the range of the species, and so spilonota usually is regarded now as a junior synonym of nigrolineata. Blake (1958), however, pointed out that the attributes of spilonota were a "composite" of those of nigrolineata and huhula. Blake (1958) further called attention to two additional specimens from Colombia that appeared to be intermediate between nigrolineata and huhula, although these taxon are not reported to occur syntopically.

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.