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acrylic on illustration board 10 x 8
Common and widespread throughout the American tropics, the Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) is found in a number of different forest types, but is rarely seen far from heavy cover. It also seems fond of water bodies, and typically lives near rivers, where crabs constitute an important element of its diet. The adults are buffy below, with rich, chocolate upperparts and breastband, and a conspicuous white face pattern. Young birds, like the one visible in the background, are whitish with dark faces. The female Spectacled Owl lays one or two eggs in a tree cavity towards the end of the dry season. Usually, just one bird survives, but suspicions of siblicide have never been confirmed by observation. Like most owls, the young leaves the nest long before it can fly well, and it remains dependent on its parents for several months.