Endemic to the Andes, the Rufous-banded Owl is the only high elevation member of its genus. It occurs from Venezuela to Bolivia in humid montane forest from 1700m to tree-line. It is most often detected by its deliberate series of short hoots but is rarely seen and there is thus little information on its natural history. It is primarily nocturnal, with some crepuscular activity and forages in the canopy, presumably for insects and small mammals. At low elevations, the Rufous-banded Owl will overlap with its congeners, the Black-and-White and Black-banded Owl, both of which of are easily separated by plumage, being black and white. By vocalizations the species are best distinguished by their calls’ rhythm and emphasis on the final note.