Medium-sized owl, more frequently seen in the daytime than other owls. Especially active around dawn and dusk, when it flies lazily over open fields or marshes in search of small mammals. Varies across a wide range, with Galapagos birds being the darkest. Brown overall, palest on belly, with streaks and spots on wings and chest. Large pale patch near the wingtips easily visible in flight. Rarely heard vocalizing away from breeding grounds, where it makes a low series of hoots and a variety of harsh barking noises.