Mia – Spectacled Owl
Hatched: May 1993
Mia hatched at World Bird Sanctuary in May 1993. She has spent many seasons educating for World Bird Sanctuary at Sea World of Texas, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and finally at Milwaukee Zoo Programs. A few years ago, she retired from her youthful days of flying in education programs.
She now spends most of her time at our Nature Center, but does get around St. Louis for public appearances and our popular Owl Prowls and All About Owls programs. Mia prefers mice and rats for her diet and likes to watch the snakes in the Nature Center. She is a sweet, calm, loving little bird, but has been known to be a little sassy!
Species: Spectacled Owl
Scientific Name: Pulsatrix perspicillata
Description: are distinctly colored medium-sized owls with dark brown bodies and very white to yellow-ochre colored bellies. They have a white line outlining their chins. Their name comes from the white color surrounding their eyes that resembles eyeglasses, or “spectacles”. Babies have markings that reflect the exact opposite of their parents, with white bodies and dark faces.
Sex: females usually larger than males
Age: up to 25 years in the captivity
Weight: 21-33 oz.
Habitat: found more frequently in dense tropical rainforest with mature, large trees, including forest edges. Also found in dry forest, treed savannah habitat, plantations and open areas with scattered trees.
Range: found in Mexico, Central America, Trinidad and Tobago and the northern two-thirds of South America.
Behavior: are cavity nesters, seeking out holes in trees to nest. Clutch size is normally two white eggs, with incubation lasting about 36 days. Approximately six to eight weeks after they hatch, fledglings are ready to take their first flight. Both parents continue to take care of their young after they leave the nest.
Diet: prey on insects, tree frogs, reptiles, birds, small mammals and even crabs. At times they will tackle skunks and opossums.
Vocalization: series of knocking or tapping sounds with a popping effect “PUP-pup-pup-pup-po”, each successive note being lower and weaker, and the rhythm quicker as the series progresses. The female also has a hawk-like scream “ker-WHEEER”, which has been likened to a steam whistle.
- Spectacled owls are the largest of the New World tropical owls that inhabit the rain forest.
- An unsociable bird. Generally nocturnal, with activity normally beginning after dusk and continuing to dawn. Roosts singly by day in trees with dense foliage. Most vocal on calm, moonlit nights.
- Spectacled owls are not endangered but are increasingly threatened by habitat destruction in tropical forests.