What is a Tecolote?

Tecolote is the name some species from the Strigiformes order receive. More specifically, some owls that are originals from North America receive this name in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and even some parts of the United States.

Tecolotes do not belong to a specific specie or genus. They are just owls that people identify as tecolotes. Every tecolote is an owl, but not every owl can be called tecolote.

Tecolotes, as owls, are nocturnal birds of prey. They can easily be found in almost every ecosystem, although they prefer the woodlands and mountain ranges. They feed on insects, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals such as mice and rabbits. Owls have 12 cervical vertebrae while most mammals have only 7.This allows them to rotate their heads up to 270°. As for their vision, owls and tecolotes can’t move their big eyes nevertheless they have excellent nocturnal eyesight. Their wings have 5 different kinds of feathers, which allow them to fly in almost complete silence, a great characteristic for a hunter. Female owls and tecolotes are almost always larger than males.

Maybe the only relevant physical feature that can set apart tecolotes from owls is their size. Tecolotes are smaller, like owlets and pygmy owls. Some examples of tecolotes include the unspotted saw-whet owl or tecolote canelo (Aegolius Ridwagi), the Tamaulipas pigmy owl or tecolote tamaulipeco (Glaucidium Sanchezi) and the northern pygmy owl or tecolotito del cabo (Glaucidium Californicum).

References

Tecolote- Wikipedia (Spanish)