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Bare-legged Owl - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by dandsblair
Playa Larga, Cuba, 7 January 2021

Alternative name: Cuban Screech-Owl

Margarobyas lawrencii


Photo by rb_stern
Location: Cuba, February 2009

Underside is pale with dark shaft streaks -- these may have drop-like shape. Upperside including back of head and crown darker brown, on adult with white spots especially on wings. There are no feather tufts that can be raised in alarm. Tail may be plain or more often barred. Legs lack feathering, eyes brown, bill yellowish.


Cuba and Isle of Pines.


Bare-legged Owl has previously been assigned to the genus Otus; later it was placed in the genus Gymnoglaux but this name is not available.


Two subspecies are recognized[1] (but some sources lump them to one):

  • M. l. exsul :
  • M. l. lawrencii:
  • Central and eastern Cuba


Wooded areas.


Nocturnal, feeding mainly on insects and other arthropods, more rarely vertebrates up to small birds; much of the food seeking happens on the ground. It stays during the day in caves, crevices, cavities, or in dense leaf-cover.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. König, C. and F. Weick 2008. Owls of the World, second edition. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 978-0-7136-6548-2
  3. Raffaele et al. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0713649054
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.