The Buff-fronted Owl is both a highly attractive and very poorly known owl, and is the sole member of the genus Aegolius to occur in South America. Its range there is rather widespread, but apparently highly disjunct, the species occurring in the Andes from northwest Venezuela to northern Peru, and then, equally locally, over much of the eastern third of South America, from northeast Brazil south to northeast Argentina, and Bolivia. Over this wide range, the Buff-fronted Owl is known from a wide variety of forest types, and has been recorded from sea level to the timberline. The face and underparts are largely buffy-colored, whilst the upperparts are dark brown, marked with white spots and bars on the wings and tail, respectively. Its whistled trilling vocalization recalls that of some screech-owls.