Black-and-white owl
Black and White owl.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Strix
S. nigrolineata
Binomial name
Strix nigrolineata

Sclater, 1859
Ciccaba nigrolineata (Sclater, 1859)

The black-and-white owl (Strix nigrolineata) is a species of owl in the family Strigidae.


The black-and-white owl is a medium-sized owl with a round head and no ear tufts. It is between 35–40 cm in length and weigh between 400-535 grams. It has a striped black-and-white breast, belly, and vent. With the exception of a black-and white striped collar, the upperparts from the crown to the tail are a sooty black. The facial disc is mostly sooty black, with white “eyebrows” that extend from the bill to the collar. The beak is a yellow-orange colour, and the eyes are a reddish brown.

Chicks are downy and white.

Distribution and habitat

The black-and-white owl is mostly found in gallery forests and rainforest, but is also found in wet deciduous and mangrove forests, usually at an altitude between sea level and 2400 meters. This owl is not afraid of living near human habitations. Its range extends from central Mexico south to the northwestern section of Peru and western Colombia. In total, it is found in 12 countries: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.


Its diet consists mostly of larger insects, but it is also known to eat small mammals, birds, and tree frogs. It is known to hunt from a perch, but has been known to hunt on the wing too.

Its call consists of a series of rapid, guttural, low calls, followed by a short pause and a low, airy call and a faint, short hoot. Occasionally, it is shortened to just the last two notes, leaving out the opening series.