Striped Owl by day

Striped Owl (Asio clamator): Buho listado; Schreieule; Hibou strié

This fairly large owl is a species with a wide but scattered distribution range. It is chiefly, though not exclusively, nocturnal. The bird found here at Angostura by John and Sean Beer was probably flushed from the ground and was not seen hunting. Strangely this species is said to have wings that are shorter and more rounded than others of its genus but they look impressively long in the picture below:

Striped Owl in flight; photo by John Beer

A Striped Owl is known to be found regularly near the entrance to the Botanical Gardens at CATIE and is occasionally recorded by visitors there. Otherwise it is hard to find locally in my experience, and the encounter at Angostura is therefore quite notable. This is a ground-nesting species feeding chiefly on rodents. It has ear tufts, though these are unfortunately not clearly distinguishable in any of the following photos. But consider yourself very lucky if you can get any photo at all of this beautiful bird. Congratulations to Sean and John!

Who’s that? Striped Owl perched by day; photo by Sean Beer

Here’s where the owl chose to take cover to avoid being mobbed by photographers or Brown Jays (Psilorhinus morio):

Striped Owl takes cover; photo by John Beer

In these more than 12 years I have not seen the Striped Owl near our village of San Antonio at all (elevation 1300 m), though I’d love to add it to my ‘patch’ list. So far this consists of:

  • Bare-shanked Screech-Owl (Megascops clarkii)
  • Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba)
  • Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium costaricanum)
  • Mottled Owl (Ciccaba virgata)

A further 11 owl species have been recorded in the country, although 4 of these are considered either Rare or Accidental Species by Avibase – Bird Check Lists of the World. For another of the owls that you do have a chance of finding, see my next post.

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