Bare-legged Owl (Gymnoglaux lawrencii)

Bare-legged Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Gymnoglaux lawrencii | [authority] Sclater and Salvin, 1868 | [UK] Bare-legged Owl | [FR] Petit duc de Cuba | [DE] Kubaeule | [ES] Autillo Cubano | [NL] Cubaanse Schreeuwuil


Monotypic species


The Bare-legged Owl or Cuban Screech-owl (Gymnoglaux lawrencii) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family that is endemic to Cuba. It belongs to the monotypic genus Gymnoglaux.

Physical charateristics

Facial disk creamy with broad dark rim. Long white eyebrowes. It is dark brown above with white spots and pale grey below with faint streaks. The eyes are brown with conspicuous white eyebrows, legs are bare.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 20 cm size max.: 22 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


North America : Cuba. The Bare-legged Owl is endemic to Cuba and the Isla de Pinos where it is the only small owl present.


The Bare-legged Owl is fairly common over its restricted distribution and can be found in wood areas, mixed palm forest, tropical dry forest and thickets. It has been quite adaptable to human modified landscapes


Nest in tree cavity or old Woodpecker hole. Sometimes in crevice on cliffs. Clutch size 2 eggs. Uses the nest several years in a row.

Feeding habits

It is known to feed mainly on large insects, with smaller numbers of frogs and snakes.

Video Bare-legged Owl


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Bare-legged Owl status Least Concern



Distribution map

Bare-legged Owl distribution range map

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