The Rufous-legged Owl (Strix rufipes) is the southernmost Strix owl species and its breeding ecology remains little known. We report new observations on the species' breeding ecology, including clutch size, egg size, duration of the incubation and nestling periods, and nestling diet. We conducted our observations on nests found during the summers of 1999 through 2004 in a forestry landscape of central Chile, dominated by Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantations with intermixed fragments of native southern beech (Nothofagus) forests. Clutch size was two eggs (n = 2 nests), with one egg larger than the other (mean = 48.8 × 40.1 mm). The incubation period was 30 d and the nestling period 34 d. We analyzed 10 pellets from nestling owls and identified 45 prey items, mostly dominated by large beetles, grasshoppers, and rodents (native and exotic). This information, though based on a limited number of nests, provides baseline ecological data that can inform future studies.
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Vol. 56 • No. 1