Did You Know? 17 Incredible Stygian Owl Facts

Read these Stygian owl facts where the word 'Stygian' means related to the river Styx

If you have watched Harry Potter movies, you would have definitely considered having an owl as a pet. However, what you need to know is that there are many owl species in the world. The owl species you are reading about now is the Stygian owl.

The name Stygian means that it is related to the River Styx. These birds are medium in size and are nocturnal in nature, meaning they are active at night. They like to live in mountains, forested areas, and dense trees like pine-oak. The locations where this bird is easily found are in some parts of Brazil, Mexico, and Central America. These birds are known to prey on various animals and birds (inclusive of bats as well). Their look is scary sometimes because of their red eyes and long ear tufts. They are often related to the devil due to the same reasons – how eerie!

If you enjoy reading about Stygian owl facts, you should definitely check out our other articles on the guinea fowl and the burrowing owl.

Stygian owl

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Rodents, small animals

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much do they weigh?

1.5 lb (675 g)

How long are they?

14.2-18.1 in (36-46 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, white

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Dense forests, mountains


South America, the Caribbean, Cuba, Central America





Scientific Name

Asio stygius





Stygian Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Stygian owl?

The Stygian owl (Asio stygius) is a medium-sized owl.

What class of animals do Stygian owls belong to?

As the Stygian owl (Asio stygius) is a bird, it belongs to the class Aves.

How many Stygian owls are there in the world?

The population of the owl (the Stygian) ranges from 50,000-500,000 in the world.

Where do Stygian owls live?

The Stygian owl (Asio stygius) can be found in the Caribbean, South America, and some parts of Central America. It can also be found in some areas of Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, Argentina, and Venezuela.

What is a Stygian owl's habitat?

The Stygian owl habitat includes dense forests, mountains, and dense vegetation in Mexico and other pine places. The Stygian owl (Asio stygius) loves to be in woodlands, evergreen, and deciduous forests. As these birds are nocturnal, they are known to be active during the nighttime and rest when it is daytime. They also need a home in the habitat in the wild, and for that, it is observed that these birds use other birds' nests, like their relatives', the short-eared owl. At times, they are also likely to make their own nests on the ground or in dense trees. They like to live at elevations of 1.9 mi (3100 m) from sea level.

Who do Stygian owls live with?

Owls are known to be solitary birds. They like to live alone and not in groups. Although these owls do not live in groups, the name of its group is called a parliament.

How long do Stygian owls live?

The exact lifespan of the Stygian owl cannot be found, but owls have a lifespan of 25 years. So, you can say that the Stygian owl can also have a lifespan of 25 years.

How do they reproduce?

The male flaps the Stygian owl wings during the flight when it is courtship time. After breeding, the females lay two eggs in the nests made up of sticks of other birds most of the time. But sometimes, these birds are known to nest on the ground. These two eggs are then incubated by females only. After the eggs hatch and the chicks come out, they are fed by both the parents. The young ones have pupils that are in blue color, unlike their parents.

What is their conservation status?

Stygian owls are known to live in a large range of areas. Due to this, this species is not anywhere near to being Vulnerable or Threatened. There is a decline in the population of this nocturnal species of bird that lives in some parts of Central America, but it does not affect the large range of the Stygian owl. The population of these birds is pretty large, and they are under the conservation status of Least Concern.

The decline in this owl species is because of humans. Most of the time, Stygian owls are known to die not because of some natural causes but because of the intervention of humans.

Stygian Owls Fun Facts

What do Stygian owls look like?

The Stygian owls are dark brown in color, with a facial disk on the face that is a little darker than the brown of their body. They have long ear tufts and red eyes. The red eyes of this bird are related to the devil. The ear tufts are known to protect the ears from the wind in the forests. The wings have spots, and the underparts of the body are pale. The underparts of the body of the owl are also dusky brown with some crossbars.

Stygians have long ear tufts and blood-orange eyes.

How cute are they?

The babies of any animal or bird are cute. So, the owl babies are really adorable. The adults are not that cute because of the devil-like look that they give off as the birds like Stygian owl have fire red eyes.

How do they communicate?

The male Stygian owl's call involves a deep sound, whereas the females are known to have a shrilly sound. Both the genders make sounds of excitement and communicate with the young ones. The chicks use vocalizations when they want to eat their prey.

How big are Stygian owls?

Just like the tawny owls, the Stygian owls are medium-sized owls that have their lengths ranging from 14.2-18.1 in (36-46 cm) and weight ranging up to 1.5 lb (675 g). Their wingspan has a range of 40-42 in (102-107 cm). The females of this species are a little heavier than males and are also a little larger than males.

How fast can Stygian owls fly?

There is no exact speed information provided for these birds. They fly with slow wingbeats and have an occasional glide. The Stygian owl wingspan is 40-42 in (102-107 cm).

How much do Stygian owls weigh?

These birds are known to weigh up to 1.5 lb (675 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the different genders of this species. The males and females are known by the same name - Stygian owl.

What would you call a baby Stygian owl?

A baby Stygian owl is called a chick.

What does a Stygian owl eat?

Want to know more about the Stygian owl diet? Reptiles, birds, insects, rodents, and bats are what it includes. These birds have a range of animals that they eat. They love to prey and feed on birds like grassquits and more. As they are nocturnal, they are active during the night and hence, prey during the night. The Stygian owl bat diet also is important to them as bats are active at nighttime.

Would they make a good pet?

The Stygian owls are wild birds. It is always difficult to pet a wild bird. These birds have a high range of population and a high range of areas to live in like Central or South America, Brazil, and Mexico. They have their habitat in forests and in dense trees like pine-oak and live in stick nests. The habitat in which they live is 1.9 mi (3100 m) above sea level. Due to all these factors, it is pretty difficult for you to have them as pets.

Did you know...

The group of owls is known by many names like glaring, stooping, bazaar, parliament, or wisdom.

As the Stygian owl eyes give off a red reflection, these birds are called the 'devil owl' and are associated with the devil.

People believe that the Stygian owl can turn itself into a witch and have some supernatural powers. This is a part of Stygian owl mythology.

What is the Stygian owl also known as?

The Stygian owls are also called the 'ghost owls.' This is because of the long ear tufts, dark color, and red eyes. They are famously called 'coruja diabo', meaning 'devil owl' in Brazil.

Comparisons with other owls

The Stygian owl, when compared to the long-eared owl, has the same structure overall. Although, the difference between the Stygian owl and long-eared owl is that the former is darker and has a large size than the latter.

When compared to the great horned owls, Stygian owls are smaller in size and are less bulky as well.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our white ibis facts and tufted puffin facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Stygian owl coloring pages.



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