Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis)

Chaco Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Strix chacoensis | [authority] Cherrie and Reichenberger, 1921 | [UK] Chaco Owl | [FR] Chouette du Chaco | [DE] Chacokauz | [ES] Lechuza chaquena | [NL] Chaco uil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Strix chacoensis SA sc


Members of the genus Strix are the wood owls. They are medium to large owls, having a large, rounded head and no ear-tufts. The comparatively large eyes range from yellow through to dark brown. Colouring is generally designed fro camouflage in woodland, and a number of the member of this genus have colour phases. There are 20 species scattered practically throughout the globe with the exception of Australasia, the South Pacific and Madagascar, where the genus Ninox takes its place. There being no clear generic differences between Strix and Ciccaba genera, and DNA evidence suggesting very close relationships, many authorities now merge the latter into the former.

Physical charateristics

Face white with dusky rings and dark border. Crown with dark band. Upperparts dark brown, heavily barred and white spotted. Tail and flight feathers barred rufous. Underparts whitish heavily barred brown. Iris dark brown, bill pale yellowish.

Listen to the sound of Chaco Owl

[audio: Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 65 cm wingspan max.: 75 cm
size min.: 30 cm size max.: 35 cm
incubation min.: 33 days incubation max.: 35 days
fledging min.: 33 days fledging max.: 37 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


South America : Southcentral


Preferred area is sparsely populated, dry, semi-arid with thorny shrubs, cacti & small groups of trees


Nests are usually made in holes in trees but sometimes on the ground under bushes or fallen branches. Breeding takes place in May, when usually 2 eggs are laid. Incubation is done by the female with the male providing food.

Feeding habits

They prey mainly on small birds, mammals & other vertebrates, but will also feed on insects, spiders & scorpions. They are predominantly nocturnal hunters starting from dusk


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.
Chaco Owl status Least Concern



Distribution map

Chaco Owl distribution range map

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