The Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) is a large tropical owl native to the neotropics.
It’s a thrill when you can see a bird species uncommon to where you live up close and personal.
Raptors Shows Bring Exotic Birds of Prey to You
Even though I prefer seeing birds in their natural state in the wild, unless I plan to go bird watching in the forest of southern Mexico, Trinidad, Central America, Brazil, Paraguay, and northwestern Argentina, then I have to indulge my quest to see rare and beautiful birds, like the Spectacled Owl, at raptor shows at places like the Audubon Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut.
But that’s okay.
I can get past the leg bands and jesses (leather straps) used by handlers for carrying birds of prey on the glove and attaching GPS trackers.
At first, the straps are bothersome. But when you focus on the beauty of the bird, you hardly notice them.
Spectacled Owl is a Head Turner
The Spectacled Owl grabs your attention immediately.
As soon as the handler presented this owl to the crowd, everyone was locked in.
Maybe it was because the owl has a rounded head with no ear-tufts.
Its dark rich-colored face is striking with contrasting ‘spectacles’ made up of white eyebrows and other white streaking between the eyes and on the cheeks.
And what a color combination of striking blackish brown upperparts, head and upper breast, white facial markings, and whitish to yellowish-ochre underparts.
Its eyes are a magnificent yellow, complemented by its pale beak.
This specific Spectacled Owl was a juvenile and even more distinctive than the adult.
Juveniles have soft, fluffy snowy white feathers atop of their head against a chocolate brown facial disc.
This owl was just stunning.
Spectacled Owl Lives Up to Its Name
It’s easy to see that the owl gets its name from the pattern of feathers around its eyes that make it look like it’s wearing spectacles.
The Spectacled Owl is active mostly at night, and it’s an efficient hunter, feeding on mammals, insects, and other birds.
This is a beautiful owl species you have to see up close to fully appreciate it.
If you’re in the St. Louis area, the St. Louis Zoo has Spectacled Owls and hatched many of these owls that have gone to many other zoos around the world.
Become an Audubon Society Member
The Audubon Society offers many birds of prey raptor shows featuring many exotic raptors from all over the world.
Celebrate 2018 the Year of the Bird by becoming an Audubon Society member and take advantage of their amazing educational programs.
Now get outside and see birds.