Mottled owls are medium-sized owls measuring 29 to 38 cm long and weighing 175 to 320 g. They are mostly dark except for light brown facial markings. Mottled owls have yellow-grey to blue-grey bills and brown eyes. Their dorsal markings are much less noticeable than the vertical streaks on their chest and throat. They look larger than they are because of their thick feathers.
Mottled owls are monogamous. They usually lay 1 to 2 eggs between February and May. Mottled owls nest in holes of trees, tops of broken off palms and occasionally in empty nests of other birds.
They feed on a diverse diet including large insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. They also feed on small mammals, birds, snakes, lizards, salamanders and frogs.
From the north of Mexico to east of Ecuador, Bolivia and north of Argentina and Paraguay.
Their habitats are extensive and diverse; they can live in a wide variety of forest and thicket edge, tropical rainforest, dry thorn forest, tropical lowland forest, pine-oak woodland, and humid evergreen jungle. They can also live in areas with scattered trees, often close to towns and villages.
IUCN Red List: Least concern.