Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Near Threatened

Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis)


French: Chouette du Chaco German: Chacokauz Spanish: Cárabo chaqueño

Strix chacoensis

Cherrie and Reichenberger

, 1921,

Fort Wheeler, Paraguayan Chaco


Thought probably most closely related to S. hylophila and S. rufipes, all having vocalizations very different from those of other Strix, and possibly generically distinct. Usually treated as race of S. rufipes, but differs in plumage, morphology and voice. Monotypic.


Chaco of S Bolivia (Santa Cruz), W Paraguay and N Argentina (S to Córdoba, San Luis and N La Pampa).

Descriptive notes

c. 35–40 cm; male 360–435 g, female 420–500 g. Facial disc white with dense dusky rings and dark rim; crown with white-bordered dark central band;... read more


Deep croaking song, “crucrucru craw-craw”, sometimes with extra “crucru” in... read more


Dry chaco woodland, usually with large cacti and thorn scrub; avoids open country; said to prefer... read more

Food and feeding

Small mammals, birds and insects (e.g. beetles); also scorpions, large spiders and centipedes; reptiles also recorded, e.g. blind snakes (... read more


Poorly known; probably lays in Oct; nest in tree hole. In captivity: three eggs, incubation 35 days, hatching asynchronous, young left nest... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. No information on population size; apparently common throughout the dry Chaco, e.g. Chancaní... 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. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Chaco Owl (Strix chacoensis). 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 13 December 2019).