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Fulvous Owl
A Reference for North and Central American Owls

 The Fulvous Owl is a bold Owl that can often be found in the cloud forests in the mornings and afternoons although it is primarily nocturnal (active at night). It is very responsive to imitations and playbacks of it's own call. Here you can find photos, recordings and information to help identify and enjoy this beautiful owl. The Field Notes section includes a Central American range map and information on nesting, habitat, description and classification.  To jump immediately to any of these sections use the Page Jump Links below.

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Photo Gallery
Additional photos
Audio Recordings
Field Notes and Range Map 

  

PHOTO GALLERY
Click on the thumbnail to bring up each of the Owl photos.

Fulvous Owl Photo

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Fulvous Owl Photo

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Fulvous Owl Photo

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El Triunfo
  Chiapas, Mexico
March 2002

El Triunfo
  Chiapas, Mexico
March 2002
El Triunfo
  Chiapas, Mexico
March 2002

Fulvous Owl Photo

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Fulvous Owl Photo

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Fulvous Owl Photo

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El Triunfo
  Chiapas, Mexico
March 2002
El Triunfo
  Chiapas, Mexico
March 2002
El Triunfo
  Chiapas, Mexico
March 2002

Additional Photos

Photo 1
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Photo 2
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Photo 3
92K

RECORDINGS
Click on the sonogram to bring up each of the recordings.

Sound File
51K
El Triunfo, Mexico
March 2002

This is a pair of owls calling with their primary territorial call. The first owl with the slightly lower voice is the male and the second call is the female. This is one of the most common calls heard in the field.

FIELD NOTES and Range Map

Fulvous Owl - Strix fulvescens

Fulvous Owl Range Map The Fulvous Owl has a limited range that is restricted to Chiapas (Southern Mexico), Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Its habitat is also restricted to the higher regions of the mountains and cloud forests. It inhabits elevations from 3900 feet to almost 10,000 feet and can be fairly common within it's habitat and range.

 The Fulvous Owl is a midsize owl, 15 - 17 inches in length (about the size of a Red-shouldered Hawk). It is nocturnal (active mostly at night), has a very bold call, and can often be heard vocalizing before dawn. Although it is nocturnal, it is also often found in the early mornings and late afternoons when it is cool or overcast within it's cloud forest habitats. It is also very responsive to playbacks and imitated calls and can be, usually, readily found in these early or late daylight hours. Its diet is not well documented but it is know to take large insects, small mammals, birds, frogs and lizards. It mostly hunts from a perch.

 The Fulvous Owl is smaller but is extremely similar in appearance to its cousin the Barred Owl although the two owls have no overlap in range. Maybe the only other owl that might be mistaken for it and that is within its range, also of the Strix genius, is the Mottled Owl. The Fulvous Owl, though, is larger, has much more extensive white backside markings and maybe most noticeably has distinctive horizontal bars on the throat that the Mottled Owl lacks. Both of these owls have brown eyes (iris) and very distinctive calls.

 The Fulvous Owl usually lays 2 to 5 eggs, believed to have a 28-30 day incubation period, and the young can be observed in May. No other information is available. This is a resident owl (other than juvenile dispersals) and not believed to make any migratory movements.

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