Bird of the Week, April 23, 2013
Buff-fronted Owl

Buff-fronted Owl by Fundacion Jocotoco

The Buff-fronted Owl was a surprise visitor to the Urraca Lodge at the Jorupe Reserve in Ecuador this February, when it dove through a dining room window in pursuit of insects. This visit marked the first record of the rarely seen owl within the Jorupe Reserve, run by our partner Fundación Jocotoco and supported by ABC. Park guards were able to safely return the owl to the outdoors – after snapping the above photo.

This striking little owl is the only member of its genus (Aegolius) to occur in South America. It is widespread but uncommon throughout its range, which is separated by the enormous expanse of the Amazon basin.

Relatively little is known about the species, but like many small owls, it lays its eggs in tree cavities and preys on rodents and other small mammals, birds, and insects. Its voice is a quavering trill.

Nearly 190 bird species have been found in Jorupe, including almost all the dry forest endemics of Ecuador’s Tumbesian region. Birders wishing to book a trip to this unique reserve should visit the Conservation Birding website.


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Photo by Fundación Jocotoco; Range Map by NatureServe