Rufous-legged Owl (Strix rufipes)

Rufous-legged Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Strix rufipes | [authority] King, 1828 | [UK] Rufous-legged Owl | [FR] Chouette masquee | [DE] Rotfuss-Kauz | [ES] Lechuza Bataraz (Arg), Concon, Carabo Bataraz | [NL] Roodpootbosuil


Monotypic species


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

Medium sized owl with no ear tufts. Upper-parts rufous-brown barred with white, more extensive white barring on nape and head. Under-parts white barred with brown. Facial disk rufous with dark eyes. Legs and feet orange-brown to cinnamon.

Listen to the sound of Rufous-legged Owl

[audio: Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 33 cm size max.: 38 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : Central Chile to Tierra del Fuego


Dense moist montane forest and semi-open lowland forest.


Usually nests in tree hole or cavity. Rarely in old raptor nest or even on the ground. Clutch size 2-3 eggs.

Feeding habits

The diet includes small mammals, birds and insects.

Video Rufous-legged Owl


copyright: Michael C


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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.
Rufous-legged Owl status Least Concern


Resident, juveniles may wander.

Distribution map

Rufous-legged Owl distribution range map

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