Stygian Owl Asio stygius

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors: Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Thomas S. Schulenberg

Stygian Owl is surprisingly poorly known for such a large and widespread owl. This species is distributed throughout the Neotropics in a wide variety of habitats, but usually prefers relatively open woodlands, such as pine-oak and deciduous forests, and even can be found in urban parks. The diet of Stygian Owl includes mammals, but apparently it feeds mostly on birds; species that it preys upon range in size from the very small, such as Blue-black Grassquits (Volatinia jacarina), up to birds at least as large as small tinamous and city pigeons. In the field Stygian Owl appears attenuated, with a relatively small dark head and prominent "ear" tufts, and with dense dark streaking on the underparts.


© Bret Whitney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and T. S. Schulenberg (2012). Stygian Owl (Asio stygius), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.