Spectacled owl

(Pulsatrix perspicillata)


Spectacled owl IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The Spectacled owl has a body length of 43-46 cm. The head is dark brown with distinctive white markings around the eyes. The upper body parts are uniform dark brown; the wings with pale cinnamon bars. The under parts of the body is light yellow-ochre, with a white band on the throat followed by a dark brown band. The tail is dark brown with light cinnamon bars. Legs are dark grey. (2)

Did you know?
that an owl's neck has 14 vertebrae, which is twice as many as humans? This allows the owl to turn its head through a range of 270 degrees - not, as some rumours state, a full circle (1).


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Pulsatrix perspicillata
Name (English) Spectacled owl
Name (French) Chouette à lunettes
Name (German) Brillenkauz
Name (Spanish) Lechuzón de anteojos
Local names Brazil: Mucurututu
Surinamese: Owrukuku
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



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Range Central and South America: Argentina; Belize; Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela
Habitat Subtropical and tropical forests.
Wild population There are no global data available but the population is certainly large.
Zoo population 161 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Spectacled owl


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 16 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka

Why do zoos keep this animal

The reason for keeping spectacled owls in zoos is primarily educational. Being a tropical species, they may be kept indoors, e.g. in nocturnal houses.