Small, cryptically patterned, yellow-eyed owl of forest in lowlands and foothills, where it tends to stay well hidden in the understory. Occurs on the east slope of the Andes and into the lowlands, as far south as Bolivia and as far east as the Guyanas. Cannot be identified readily by sight, but it is the only screech-owl throughout most of its range and within its habitat. Song is a purring trill that can easily be mistaken for the purring of a toad or insect. Plumage varies from grayish brown overall to reddish.