Colombian Screech Owl (Megascops colombianus)

Colombian Screech Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Megascops colombianus | [authority] Traylor, 1952 | [UK] Colombian Screech Owl | [FR] Petit Duc de Colombie | [DE] Kolumbian-Schreieule | [ES] Autillo Colombiano | [NL] Colombiaanse Schreeuwuil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Megascops colombianus SA w Colombia to n 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

Grey-brown and rufous morphs. Facial disk buff-brown, distinct eyerings. Upperparts tawny to brownish. Underparts light buff with no white, finely barred. Iris brown, bill olive.

Listen to the sound of Colombian Screech Owl

[audio: Screech Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 26 cm size max.: 28 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
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South America : West Colombia to North Peru


It occurs in tall secondary forest, forest edge and open pasture, at 1250-2200 m


No data

Feeding habits

Large insects and small vertebrates.

Video Colombian Screech Owl


copyright: Alexander Grimwade


This species has a small range which is suspected to be decreasing owing to habitat loss and a moderately small, declining population. However, this is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. The species is consquently classified as Near Threatened.
Megascops colombianus is known from the Pacific slope of the West Andes in Colombia and north-west Ecuador
Colombian Screech Owl status Near Threatened


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Colombian Screech Owl distribution range map

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