Inca is a pretty little owl closely related to our British long-eared and short-eared owls, although the prominent feather tufts on the top of the head have nothing to do with the ears. He came to us as a very well cared for and loved younster at five weeks old in 2015, and is now learning to fly both inside the barn and outside in the field.
The Peruvian Striped Owl is generally found in thin tropical forests, in fields and marshes, but avoiding dense forest. It will hunt over clearings, farmland,and forest edges. It has a range of habitats that stretches from sea level to 5000 feet in elevation.
The Striped Owl is strictly nocturnal (active mostly at night) although like its cousin, the Short-eared Owl, it is often seen at dusk coursing low over the ground hunting, and feeds mainly on small vertebrates and mammals such as small rodents and snakes. Also feeds on arthropods, birds, reptiles and large insects. In the day it roosts on the ground or in a low thicket.
Nesting season begins in August and extends through March. The Striped Owl, like the Short-eared owl, generally nests on the ground on a flattened grassy clump at no great height. Occasionally nests in a tree. It commonly lays three (2-4) eggs but usually only one chick will fledge.
Out of the breeding season, similar to the closely related Long eared owl, these owls may congregate in small groups on a branch together.