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Black-banded Owl - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Roy Halpin
Shasta Lodge, Ecuador, 10 January 2004
Strix huhula

Ciccaba huhula


  • Slate grey head
  • White flecked, dark grey banded underparts and tail
  • Dark eyes
  • Yellow beak, legs and feet


South America east of the Andes from Venezuela to northern Argentina, but not in eastern Brazil.


Has in the past been considered conspecific with Black-and-White Owl but the two have different vocalizations.

Ciccaba vs. Strix

Most authorities (Sibley & Monroe, 1996) retain Mottled Owl (virgata), Black-and-white Owl (nigrolineata), Black-banded Owl (huhula), and Rufous-banded Owl (albitarsis) in the genus Strix. König et al. state that the general morphology and phylogenetic evidence of these four species does not indicate separation from the rest of Strix, and Restall goes on to explain that they were originally separated into the genus Ciccaba based on anatomy of the external ear. As Clements (2022) and IOC (2022) also place these species in Strix, the Opus follows.


Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. h. huhula:
  • S. h. albomarginata:
  • Eastern Paraguay to south-eastern Brazil and north-eastern Argentina (Misiones)


Mostly lowland humid forests, but has been recorded to 1100m on Andes foothils. Frequently at forest borders, and sometimes even in coffee and similar plantations.


Nocturnal, sometimes showing activity at dusk. Spends the day well hidden.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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GSearch checked for 2020 platform.