Chaco Owl

Chaco Owl

Details About The Chaco Owl

  • General Information

    The number of adult Chacos in the population is currently unknown, but they are thought to be common in their range and are currently classified as a species of Least Concern. Due to a lack of information about this owl and its current population, scientists do not currently know if habitat loss is becoming an issue for the species. Much of the habitat in the Chaco region is being developed due to population growth. Derived from the word "chachu," the Quechua word for hunting territory, the Chaco is being taken over somewhat by paved roads to allow better access to remote hunting areas. This has led to increased development and agriculture in formerly wild areas, and could be affecting the population of owls.

    Latin Name: Strix chacoensis
    Class: Aves
    Order: Strigiformes
    Family: Strigidae
    Length: 13-14.5 inches
    Weight: 10.6-12.7 grams
    Wingspan: 25.6-30 inches
    Common Name: Lechuza Chaqueňo
    Etymology: strix (Latin) - "a strident owl", Chacoensis (Quechua) - "hunting territory"

  • Flight, Voice & Habitat

    As with other owl species, the Chaco Owl has silent flight. It has rarely been observed in flight in the wild. They are predominantly nocturnal hunters starting from dusk.

    The song of the male Chaco Owl is a croaking or deep grunting and is described as a rather frog-like crococro craorr-craorr craorr-craorr. The female has a very similar but slightly higher-pitched song; single craorr calls and a harsh, drawn-out shriek also may be given.

    Their preferred habitat on the Chaco plain is dry and arid, with small groups of trees, cacti, and thorny bushes.

  • Nesting

    Very little is known about the Chaco Owl's breeding habits, but studies suggest they lay 2 eggs either in tree hollows or on the ground in late May and fledge from the nest between 33 and 37 days after hatching.

  • Distribution

    The Chaco owl is located primarily in the Gran Chaco region of Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay in South America. They do not migrate.

  • Food

    Chacos hunt from dusk until dawn. Though they eat mainly small birds and mammals, they have been spotted eating insects, spiders, and scorpions.

  • Current Resident Birds

    Shadow, the Chaco Owl, came to CRC from Canada in 2013. Shadow is often tries to make himself skinny to resemble a branch on our Raptor Trail. Chaco's are native of South America - especially Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. "Chaco" refers to the dry woodland found in this part of the world.

  • Fun Facts & Other Interesting Information

    If it talks like a frog is it really a frog? The song of the male Chaco Owl is a croaking or deep grunting and is described as a "rather frog-like crococro craorr-craorr craorr-craorr, with emphasis on the first "craorr."

    The Chaco Owl belongs to the genus Strix which refers to the earless owls or wood owls. Strix, in the Ancient Roman and Greek legends, was a bird of ill omen, product of metamorphosis, that fed on human flesh and blood. The name, in Greek, means "owl".