Facts about Black-and-White Owl. "Scientific name for Black-and-White Owl is Ciccaba nigrolineata". The Black-and-White Owl is a Central American owl that possesses a distinct black and white plumage that is hard to mistake for any other animal. The Black-and-White Owl has the species name Strix nigrolineata. It is a member of the strix genus and strigidae family. It is considered a “true owl”.
Physical Characteristics of Black-and-White Owl
The Black-and-White Owl has dark brown or black eyes surrounded by very dark feathers around its rounded head; it has no ear tufts. The Black-and-White Owl has a dark facial disk. The cere is yellow. It has white “eyebrows” over the eyes. The hind-neck is covered by a dusky and white collar. The beak is bright orange. The body from the heck down is marked by vivid black and white stripes. The wings are a mixture of black, white and grey. It has a white terminal band.
It has feathered tarsi (legs) with grey and white bars. The tail is dark gray and black with narrow white bands. The toes are bare and end in dark yellow or orangish toes. The claws are yellow to orange.
The Black-and-White Owl resembles the black banded owl, ciccaba huhula, but that owl is mostly dark with some white bands, whereas the Black-and-White Owl has a dominantly white body with narrow black bands. The call of the Black-and-White Owl is similar to that of the spotted owl.
The Black-and-White Owl is fifteen to sixteen inches (38 to 40.6 cm) long.
Behavior of Black-and-White Owl
The Black-and-White Owl eats small vertebrates like lizards and frogs and large arthropods like beetles, cicadas, crickets, and anything else it can catch. The Black-and-White Owl will eat mammals like bats and mice. It forages in the canopy of the forest.
Black-and-White Owls lay one to two eggs in nests abandoned by other birds or mammal nests that they have abandoned. Barring that, it will nest in a tree hole. They don’t build their own nests. The Black-and-White Owls form monogamous pairs to lay a group of one or two eggs. Nesting season starts in late March and lasts through may.
Black-and-White Owls have a standard “who” call repeated, though they sometimes issue cat-like screams.
This owl is strictly nocturnal.
Habitat of Black-and-White Owl
The Black-and-White Owl lives in subtropical and tropical dry forests. It lives in subtropical and tropical mountain forests but not “rain forests”. In Mexico, it is found from sea level to 4,000 feet (1220 meters) in elevation. In Columbia, it is found at elevations up to 7,800 feet (2377 meters).
Black-and-White Owls can be found in mangrove forests, tropical woodlands, and wooded lowlands. It is sometimes found in heavily forested residential areas. In the suburbs, these owls have been observed to catch insects swarming around artificial light sources. It will also catch bats in flight for food. It is found in some plantations.
Range of Black-and-White Owl
The Black-and-White Owl has a very large range. It is found in Belize, Costa Rica, the rain forests of Columbia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras and southern Mexico. The Black-and-White Owl has a wide range and large sections of intact habitat; it is classified as being of last concern by the IUCN.
Trivia of Black-and-White Owl
The Black-and-White Owl was originally called Ciccaba nigrolineata when discovered by Sclater in 1859. This is one of the species originally classified as part of the Ciccaba genus, which has been combined with the Strix genus.