Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Fulvous Owl (Strix fulvescens)


French: Chouette fauve German: Gelbkauz Spanish: Cárabo guatemalteco

Syrnium fulvescens

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1868,



Probably closest to S. varia, particularly form sartorii of latter (see S. varia); possibly also close to S. occidentalis. Considered by some to be conspecific with S. varia, but differs in vocalizations, morphology and coloration. Monotypic.


Highlands of S Mexico (NC Oaxaca#R to Chiapas), Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Descriptive notes

40·5–45 cm; no data on body mass. Facial disc pale grey-brown, rimmed dark brown, with short paler eyebrows; crown and upperparts dark brown, coarsely scalloped... read more


Loud, barking hoots, often with rhythm “a’hoo a’hoo-hoo a’hoo, hoo”;... read more


Humid upper tropical and temperate pine-oak forest in mountain zones and cloudforest. Occurs from... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet mainly rodents and large insects; also birds, frogs and lizards. Nocturnal; hunts mostly from perch.


Poorly studied. Young observed in May. Nest in tree hole. Clutch size 2–5 eggs; incubation 28–30 days, from first egg, by... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in North Central American Highlands EBA. Considered uncommon to locally fairly common,... 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. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Fulvous Owl (Strix fulvescens). 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 18 January 2020).