Whiskered screech owl

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Whiskered screech owl
Megascops trichopsis 1902.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Megascops
Species: M. trichopsis
Binomial name
Megascops trichopsis
(Wagler, 1832)
Subspecies

See text.

Synonyms

Otus trichopsis

The whiskered screech owl (Megascops trichopsis), is a small scops owl found in North and Central America.

Description[edit]

Adults occur in 2 color morphs, in either brown or dark grey plumage. They have a round head with ear tufts, yellow eyes and a yellowish bill. The bird looks very similar to a western screech owl, but has heavier barring on the breast, and is slightly smaller in size.

Range and habitat[edit]

The whiskered screech owl's range extends from southeasternmost Arizona (the Madrean sky islands region) in the United States, southwards through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, to north central Nicaragua.[1] Their breeding habitat is dense coniferous or oak woodlands, and coffee plantations usually occurring at higher elevations than the western screech owl.

Behavior[edit]

These birds wait on a perch and swoop down on prey; they also capture targeted food items in flight. They mainly eat small mammals and large insects, with grasshoppers, beetles, and moths making up a large portion of their diet. They are active at night or near dusk, using their excellent hearing and night vision to locate prey.

The most common call is a series of about 8 regularly spaced "boo" notes, slightly higher in the middle, slightly lower at each end.

3 to 4 eggs are usually laid in April or May, usually found in a tree cavity or old woodpecker hole 5 to 7 meters above the ground.

Subspecies[edit]

There are 3 recognized subspecies:[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]