Deep Dive - The Mottled Owl

by OBDK on February 28, 2022

Mottled Owls are medium-sized owls that can be found in Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil.1&2 They stand 11 to almost 15 inches tall, with a wingspan of over 8 to almost 11 inches. They weigh between 6 and 12 ounces.2


Two different morphs occur in these owls – a light morph and a dark morph. Mottled Owls that have a light morph have dark brown feathers with some streaks of white or gray. They have lighter, white-colored feathers on their bellies that are streaked with brown. Those with the dark morph have darker colored feathers with a more yellow tone to the feathers on their stomach. Their eyebrows are also less noticeable than the white ones found on the lighter morphs. Mottled Owls have dark brown eyes.2


Mottled Owls live in a variety of habitats and elevations and can be found up to 2,500 meters above sea level. They can be found in tropical rainforest, tropical lowland forest, evergreen jungle, and pine-oak woodland habitats.1


Female and male Mottled Owls differ significantly in size. This species of owl has the most prominent dimorphism in owls. Males and females will stick together with their mates once they pair up. They’ll lay 1-2 eggs each year.1


These owls are nocturnal, and they’ll hunt at night for beetles, grasshoppers, snakes, lizards, frogs, and more.1 During the day they’ll roost in trees.2


Overall, Mottled Owls are pretty widespread and aren’t facing any huge threats like other animals are.1


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