In case you missed it, for today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 1,148th straight, I’m bringing to the fore this somewhat drowsy but still remarkably beautiful Rufous-banded Owl I had the pleasure of seeing at the Parque Condor, a rescue and release bird park and sanctuary near Otavalo, Ecuador, in March 2015.
The Rufous-Banded Owl (Strix albitarsis) is at home in subtropical or tropical montane forests in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. Up close they’re stunning, but they’re also somewhat of a mystery. Via the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds Online database:
Endemic to the Andes, the Rufous-banded Owl is the only high elevation member of its genus. It occurs from Venezuela to Bolivia in humid montane forest from 1700m to tree-line. It is most often detected by its deliberate series of short hoots but is rarely seen and there is thus little information on its natural history.
A larger view below.