The Big Picture: The Spectacled Owl.

Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) at Weltvogelpark Walsrode (Walsrode Bird Park, Germany). (CREDIT: Olaf Oliviero Riemer)

The spectacled owl, scientifically known as Pulsatrix perspicillata, is a nocturnal bird of prey indigenous to the rainforests of Central and South America. Characterized by its striking facial features, it showcases conspicuous white “spectacles” — a heart-shaped facial disk outlined with a contrasting dark border, which effectively accentuates its bright yellow eyes.

The spectacled owl inhabits dense, humid tropical forests, extending from the lowlands to mountainous terrains, displaying a proclivity for undisturbed primary forests. Within this lush, vibrant ecosystem, the owl locates itself predominantly in the canopy and sub-canopy levels, seamlessly blending with the environment thanks to its brownish-black and whitish or yellowish-ochre plumage.

The spectacled owl’s habitat hosts a myriad of tree species, providing ample perch options and a generous supply of prey, including small mammals, birds, and insects.

Remarkably elusive and adept at camouflage, this fascinating creature navigates through the dynamic, multifaceted rainforest, embodying the mysterious and enthralling spirit of the nocturnal jungle.

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