I was introduced to a sensational variety of birds yesterday at the Parque Cóndor, a rescue and release bird park and sanctuary near Otavalo, Ecuador. More on the park itself coming soon; first a bit more over the next several days on some of the birds found at the center, many of which are natives to specific tropical areas of the Americas. Beginning with this sleepy gentle giant, the Spectacled Owl.
With its dark round face, lack of ear-tufts and contrasting spectacles formed by white streaks between and around the eyes and cheeks, the Spectacled Owl is one that stands out. If you manage to come across the somewhat unsociable bird in the first place, that is.
Native to the neotropics, and primarily found in dense, old-growth tropical rain forests, its a the medium-sized to large owl found throughout Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean islands, northern parts of South America and south to Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina.