Rusty-barred owls are medium-sized, between 13 to 15 inches in length, a 22-inch wingspan, and weigh in at 10.1 to 12.0 ounces. Females are slightly larger than males. Their upper plumage is brown in color with lighter underparts, marked with throughout with rust-colored barring.
Habitat and range
Rusty-barred owls prefer dense forest, both lowland and montane up to 2,100 feet. The owls have also been seen within areas of disturbed cover, i.e. small patches of cut trees, despite being sensitive to disturbances. They are found in southeastern Brazil, from near Rio de Janeiro south to Rio Grande do Sul, then west into northeastern Argentina and southern Paraguay.
Rusty-barred owls are currently declining in numbers, with much of the blame centered on habitat destruction from logging and burning. Any bird sightings are generally made within national parks and reserves, although several of these parks are poorly protected from illegal loggers. In Paraguay, the owl is largely confined to the only sizable forest cover within the Paraná watershed.