Búho Y Lechuza Diferencias

Búho Y Lechuza Diferencias – Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to birds of prey, the terms búho and lechuza are often used interchangeably. However, did you know that there are actually significant differences between the two? In this article, we’ll explore the distinguishing features of these majestic birds and provide some fascinating facts about them.

What is a Búho?

Starting with the basics, a búho is the Spanish word for owl. Owls belong to the Strigiformes order of birds, which includes approximately 200 species worldwide. The largest family of owls, Tytonidae, is found in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Búhos are nocturnal birds, meaning they are mainly active at night. Their eyes are incredibly large, which allows them to see well in low light conditions. They have excellent hearing, too, enabling them to locate prey even in complete darkness. Owls’ wings are also designed for silent flight, which helps them sneak up on prey undetected.

One of the most distinguishing features of búhos is their facial disc – this is the circle of feathers around their face that helps focus sound in their ears. Their beaks are curved and sharp, ideal for tearing flesh from their prey.

What is a Lechuza?

Now, let’s look at lechuzas. A lechuza is also an owl, but they belong to a separate family of owls called the Strigidae. Lechuzas are commonly found in the Americas and are sometimes known as “screech owls” due to their high-pitched calls.

Unlike búhos, lechuzas are primarily active at dawn and dusk, although some species are also active during the day. They have larger eyes than búhos, but their facial disc is less prominent. Similarly, their beaks are straighter and not as sharp as those of búhos – this is because they eat smaller prey and don’t need such a powerful beak.

A key feature of lechuzas is their distinctive plumage. They have a variety of colors and patterns, but they are often mottled brown and white, perfect for camouflaging themselves against tree bark.

Differences Between Búhos and Lechuzas

Now that we know the basics of búhos and lechuzas, let’s delve deeper into the differences between the two.

Physical Appearance:

As we’ve touched on, the physical differences between búhos and lechuzas can be quite significant. One of the most obvious differences is the facial disc – búhos have a more prominent disc than lechuzas. Additionally, búhos’ beaks are more curved and powerful, while lechuzas’ beaks are straighter and weaker.

Another key difference is the eyes – búhos have smaller eyes than the lechuzas but they are proportionally larger relative to their head. This explains why their eyes look so big compared to the rest of their body.

Habitat and Range:

Búhos are found all over the world except for Antarctica, but they are not as common in the Americas as lechuzas. Lechuzas are mainly found in South and North America, with some species also inhabiting Africa and Eurasia.

The two species have different habitat preferences, too. Búhos are more likely to be found in forests, deserts, and rocky areas, while lechuzas prefer agricultural and urban areas, making use of abandoned buildings and streetlights to hunt.


The diet of the two birds is also different. Búhos are known to eat larger prey, including rabbits and other small mammals, while lechuzas tend to eat smaller prey such as insects, small rodents, and lizards. In some areas, lechuzas are even known to feed on scorpions, making them helpful partners in pest control!


Búhos and lechuzas have different behaviors, too. As we’ve mentioned, búhos are mainly active at night, while lechuzas are more active at dawn and dusk. Búhos are also often more solitary, while lechuzas are more social, sometimes roosting together in groups.

In terms of breeding, búhos typically lay fewer eggs than lechuzas, and their chicks take longer to reach maturity.


Despite the similarities in their common names and general characteristics, búhos and lechuzas are different species of owl. Búhos are more robust and powerful, with a prominent facial disc and curved beak, while lechuzas are more streamlined and less powerful, with less prominent facial disc and straighter beak. They inhabit different habitats, have different behaviors, and feed on different prey.

Understanding the differences between these two fascinating bird species can help us appreciate the diversity of the natural world around us. Whether you’re in North or South America, Europe, Africa, or Asia, keep your eyes and ears peeled for these majestic birds of prey, and appreciate their unique and impressive features.