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Otus choliba

Otus choliba
Photo Information
Copyright: Hernan Tolosa (saguzar) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1095 W: 72 N: 1394] (7202)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot A530
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-30 16:24
Viewed: 4366
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Taken in a mini zoo near my town, the bird is wild. Refugge from rain in a palm tree.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae

Otus choliba

Vulgar names: tropical screech owl, autillo tropical (spanish)

Description: A relatively small screech owl with short ear tufts that are raised mostly during daytime. There are grey-brown, brown and rufous morphs, with intermediates. Most are of the grey-brown morph. This owl has a yellow iris and a light gray facial disk, with a prominent black border; underparts white with a herring-bone pattern where each feather has black shaft streaks throughout. Crown and upperparts heavily streaked dark; tail and flight-feathers are barred with brown and light buff, the scapulars have a dark-edged pale spots, what give them a white line along each side above the wing. The bill is greenish-gray, feathered tarsus, toes are bare and feet are grey-brown.

Size: Length 20-24 cm (8-9.5"). Wing 14.6-18.0 cm (5.75-7"). Tail 8.6-10.4 cm (3.4-4"). Weight 96-160 g (3.4 -5.6 oz).
Breeding: These owls lay eggs in January - July in Northern Hemisphere; in Southern Hemisphere, the egg laying was recorded in September-October. But males normally sing on August, initiating the courtship period, when both sexes are vocally active. These owls nest in cavities, as natural or old woodpecker holes in trees, but also in termite mounts and nest boxes. Usually about 1-4 white eggs, averaging 34.3 x 29.3mm, are laid on the bottom of cavity without any protection. Incubation is provided by female. In Misiones (Argentina) a male was reported carrying food to the nest. The nestlings are brooded for about a month when the young owls fledge.

Hunting & Food: Food habits are poorly known. Few samples of pellets and field observations suggest a mostly insectivorous diet, including crickets, katydids, beetles, ants, spiders and scorpions. Preys are mostly nocturnal and live on the ground. Insects can be captured on wing or on the ground. There are observations of individuals catching insects in flight, particularly in the vicinity of artificial light sources, suggesting a learning process. Small vertebrates are also consumed as rodents, opossums, anurans and snakes, but in small proportions. However, in terms of estimated prey biomass consumption, these vertebrates can support 1/3 to 1/2 of the diet.

Habitat: This species is found in a wide variety of habitats. However, Tropical Screech owls occur mostly in semi-open habitats, like timbered savannah, semi-open areas with scattered trees, forest edges, second-growth forests, plantations, and also town parks. In a gradient of physiognomies from open to woody areas, as the Brazilian savannah, this owl seems to avoid pure grasslands or grassland savannahs with shrubs, preferring patches with at last some trees to woody savannahs. Generally they occur in areas from sea level to 1500m, but they have also been recorded at 3000m. This raptor is almost strictly nocturnal, initiating its activities at dusk. During daytime this owl roosts in dense foliage trees, probably close to the trunks like other Megascops.

Distribution: The Tropical Screech owl is distributed on most of South America east of the Andes from Costa Rica to northern Argentina, east of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, and all over Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It was also reported in Trinidad . These owls are probably resident, but little is know about their movements.

jeanpaul, marieproue, oscarromulus, Janice, SkyF, Alex99, zeca has marked this note useful
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To vizion: cresposaguzar 2 05-04 04:28
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Hernan, se non ci fossero quegli occhioni rossi quasi non si vedrebbe, è dello stesso colore dell'ambiente intorno, grande esempio di mimetismo, bella foto, bravo, ciao Silvio

Hello Hernan (Crespo?),

I had a big laugh over the pose, very funny.
Besides that, it's amazing how camouflaged this owl is. It just melts with the tree.
Nice shot and a VERY informative note.


If it weren't for those wonderful eyes one wouldn't even know this little fellow was there! Is it the camera angle that makes him look tilted or was he actually sitting atilt? It is a wonderful sharp image with good natural color.

Evelynn ; )

Salut Herman
Superbe prise, les yeux sont magnifiques avec des couleurs éclatantes, ils sont marquants dans l'image où les couleurs et la définition sont si douces.
Merci et au revoir...JP

Magnifique, extraordinaire, quelle composition, ses yuex si impressionnants.
Bravo et merci

Olá Hernan.
Amigo que bela coruja temos nesta foto ! A sua coloração se confunde em meio a palmeira.
Parabéns ótima captura, com nitidez e cores belas !
Abraços, HenriqueººBrasil

Excellent clarity.
Very well focused.
Great composition.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-05 0:01]

Hola Hernán,
Fine capture of a species of owl new to me. Though this sharp shot shows him well, he looks very camouflaged in the palm tree.
TFS and have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-05-05 1:28]

The screech owl in the palm looks good Hernan. He hides well in the tree - and the eyes give him away. They look quite red,

Excelente !! Encuadre, COLORES , luz... Y vaya mimetismo, parece un coco su cuerpo. Una gran fotografía Hernan.

Saludos y sigue deleitándonos.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-06 19:38]

Hello Hernan,
this one would be hard to spot if it was not for its red eyes. Very nice capture, the details very good. Nice sharpness and good colors.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-05-09 14:05]

Hi Hernan.
Very pictorial shot you have taken and shared. I like this cute owl and amazing surroundings. Lighting, sharpness and details are great. Shot is composed very well and note is excellent. My compliments and TFS.

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2007-05-16 12:41]

Incrível a pose desta coruja, que parece congelada, assustada, indefesa e camuflada no meio ambiente. Muito boa captura!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-06-04 14:47]

Hello Hernan,
This is laughing. A diagonal Tropical Screech Owl. But the photo is very good. Great camouflaged. Beautiful colours and composition, very sharp and beautiful surroundings.

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