Distinctive and unusual rainforest owl. Mostly rufous-brown, with long, shaggy ear tufts and plumes at the back of the head. The eyes vary from yellow to orange. The breast is rufous and the belly is buff with fine black streaks. Rare and local in the understory of lowland rainforest in thick areas, usually those with abundant lianas. The voice is unknown. Somewhat similar to some eagle-owls, but smaller and slimmer, with differently shaped drooping ear tufts.