Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Black-banded Owl (Ciccaba huhula)


French: Chouette huhul German: Zebrakauz Spanish: Cárabo negro

Strix huhula


, 1800,



Apparently closest to C. nigrolineata; sometimes treated as conspecific with latter, but differs in size, voice and plumage. An owl discovered in N Ecuador (W Napo) recently identified as of present species, but voice somewhat different (more like that of C. nigrolineata#R); may be an undescribed race or even a new species (“San Isidro Owl”); further studies, including larger DNA samples for analysis, needed. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. huhula (Daudin, 1800) – E Colombia, S Venezuela and the Guianas to NE Brazil, S to E Peru and NW Argentina#R.
  • C. h. albomarginata (Spix, 1824) – SE Brazil, E Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    30–36 cm; 397 g (one unsexed specimen). Facial disc blackish, eyebrows and margins of disc speckled white; entire body blackish-brown, upperparts with very narrow and... read more


    Gives a variety of vocalizations around nest. Typical song an ascending series of 4 deep and low-... read more


    Humid forest and clearings; also in Araucaria forest in S of range. In some areas has... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily insects, especially moths, beetles, locusts and mantids; small mammals and other small vertebrates also reported. In NE Argentina... read more


    Nest found in NE Argentina had 1 nestling in Oct–Nov 2010 and 1 egg from Sept to Nov 2012; nest was in the main fork of a tree (... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Appears to be scarce throughout entire range; no quantitative figures available for numbers or population trends. Nominate... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L., de Juana, E. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Black-banded Owl (Ciccaba huhula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2019).