Buff-fronted owl
Aegolius harrisii-Buff-fronted Owl.jpg
Buff-fronted Owl at Dourado, São Paulo State, Brazil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Aegolius
A. harrisii
Binomial name
Aegolius harrisii

(Cassin, 1849)

The buff-fronted owl (Aegolius harrisii) is a small owl, a rare and local resident in the highlands of South America from Venezuela south and east to Peru, northern Argentina, and northwest Paraguay. Its range is effectively separated into two parts by the unsuitable habitat of the Amazon basin.

This nocturnal bird breeds in open mountain forests, laying its eggs in a tree hole. It takes rodents and other small mammals as its main prey, but also feeds on birds and insects.

The buff-fronted owl is a small, compact, short-tailed, and broad-winged owl, approximately 23 cm long and weighing approximately 130 g. It is black above with white flecking on the wings. The underparts are unstreaked buff and the tail is brown with two spotted white bars. The head is large, with yellow eyes and a black-edged buff facial disc. The flight is strong and direct. The voice is a quavering trill sometimes varying in pitch.

The buff-fronted owl was described by the American ornithologist John Cassin in 1849, and given the binomial name Nyctale harrisii. The binomial commemorates the American ornithologist Edward Harris.