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Spectacled owl

Pulsatrix perspicillata

Spectacled owl at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae

This large tropical owl species can be found in forests across southern Mexico, through Central America, southern Brazil, Paraguay and northwestern Argentina.

Being a bird of prey, the owl eats everything that is active during the night! Their diet includes small mammals, frogs, lizards and other invertebrates.

Interesting facts!

  • Spectacled owls are the most dominant owls in their native tropical forests.
  • They are generally solitary birds, only coming together for the breeding season.
  • An owl’s neck has 14 vertebrae! That is double the amount that humans have, and means that the owl can turn its head 270 degrees.


Spectacled owls are not considered threatened at present, but the threat of habitat loss could affect the species in the future.