Cloud-forest Screech Owl (Megascops marshalli)

Cloud-forest Screech Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Megascops marshalli | [authority] Weske and Terborgh, 1981 | [UK] Cloud-forest Screech Owl | [FR] Petit duc des brumes | [DE] Nebelwald-Kreischeule | [ES] Autillo de Marshall | [NL] Bosschreeuwuil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Megascops marshalli SA c, s Peru


The genus Megascops comprises 22 living species are known at present, but new ones are frequently recognized and unknown ones are still being discovered on a regular basis, especially in the Andes. For most of the 20th century, this genus was merged with the Old World scops-owls in Otus, but nowadays it is again considered separate based on a range of behavioral, biogeographical, morphological and DNA sequence data. Screech-owls are restricted to the Americas. Some species formerly placed with them are nowadays considered more distinct.
As usual for owls, female screech-owls are usually larger and fatter than the males of their species, with owls of both sexes being compact in size, shape, and height. The Eastern Screech-owl Megascops asio is one of the smallest species of owls in North America. All of the birds in this genus are small and agile. Screech-owls are generally colored in various brownish hues with usually a whitish, patterned underside, which helps to camouflage them against the bark of trees. Some are polymorphic, occurring in a grayish- and a reddish-brown morph.

Physical charateristics

A medium-sized, rufescent Otus with facial discs broadly rimmed with black, a rather prominent whitish coronal band, and short ear tufts. Belly pattern consists of transverse white spots separated by bold black and rufous bars and streaks. Having more extensively feathered tarsi and dark brown (vs. yellow) irides, and having a dorsal pattern of black transverse markings on rich chestnut ground color (not streaked or spotted).

Listen to the sound of Cloud-forest Screech Owl

[audio: Screech Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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South America : Central, South Peru, endemic


It occurs in cloud-forest with a naturally broken canopy and very dense understorey vegetation at 1920-2240 m, either side of which it is elevationally replaced by other Otus species


No data

Feeding habits

Mainly insects, hunts moslty in canopy.


This species is believe to have a very small range and is therefore highly susceptible to any future threats to its habitat. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened.
Megascops marshalli has a very small range in Peru, where it is known from the north Cordillera Vilcabamba, Cuzco, where it is common, and has also been recorded in the Cordillera Yanachaga, Pasco. Unsurveyed and undeveloped ridges in the Gran Pajonal area (between the known sites) may hold further populations
Cloud-forest Screech Owl status Near Threatened


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Cloud-forest Screech Owl distribution range map

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