Pacific Screech Owl (Megascops cooperi)

Pacific Screech Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Megascops cooperi | [authority] Ridgway, 1878 | [UK] Pacific Screech Owl | [FR] Petit duc du Pacifique | [DE] Mangroveeule | [ES] Autillo de Manglar | [NL] Mangrove-schreeuwuil


Monotypic species


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

Medium-large dusky owl with facial disc grey with pale dusky rings and a dark rim with white spots. Wings appear barred with white and streak overall. Tawny grey uperparts with fine streaks and spots. It has brown with dark streaks on the chest and longish ear tufts. belly lighter with fine streaks.

Listen to the sound of Pacific Screech Owl

[audio: Screech Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 20 cm size max.: 25 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Middle America : South Mexico to Northwest Costa Rica


Pacific Screech-Owl can be found within its range in dry woodland, semi-open country, second-growth and lakeside fields.


Nests in tree cavity or old Woodpecker nest, clutch size 3-5 eggs.

Feeding habits

The Pacific Screech-Owl feeds mainly on insects, including beetles, katydids, moths, and scorpions, but it has also been know to hunt small rodents.

Video Pacific Screech Owl


copyright: Max Roth


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Pacific Screech Owl status Least Concern


Presumed resident

Distribution map

Pacific Screech Owl distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *