Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Magellanic Horned Owl (Bubo magellanicus)


French: Grand-duc de Magellanie German: Magellanuhu Spanish: Búho magallánico
Other common names: Lesser Horned Owl, Magellan Great Horned Owl

Strix magellanicus


, 1828,

Straits of Magellan


Until recently included as a race of B. virginianus, but differs from the taxon in vocalizations#R and morphology, and also in DNA; in the past, occasionally even merged with B. v. nacurutu. Individuals from higher elevations in Andes have occasionally been separated as race andicolus. Authorship and dating of specific name rather complex: Lesson’s appears to be oldest available name, associated with description; but if homonyms of J. F. Gmelin (1788) and Suckow (1800) are to be considered merely varietal names, some other currently valid bird names, e.g. of Gmelin, might require similar rejection#R. Monotypic.


C Peru, Chile, W Bolivia and W Argentina S to Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.

Descriptive notes

c. 45 cm; 830 g (n = 1 male). Very like B. virginianus; differs in smaller size (wing length 318–368 mm versus 297–390 mm in virginianus... read more


Male song 2 deep hoots, second one stressed, followed by low quiet purring sound, “huhOOh-... read more


Rocky upland pasture, semi-open forest (especially Nothofagus), Patagonian steppe and semi... read more

Food and feeding

Diet fairly well studied in Argentina and Chile. Mostly small mammals up to size of rabbits and hares; also birds (up to size of ... read more


Poorly studied relative to diet. Season begins late winter. Nest in crevice or cavity on cliff or between rocks, or beneath rock overhang;... read more


Resident; some birds in extreme S move N in winter; juveniles sometimes wander longer distances in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Seems to be common in Chile and Patagonia. Numbers in C Chile increased after introduction of European rabbits (... 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. (2018). Magellanic Horned Owl (Bubo magellanicus). 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 17 December 2018).