White-throated Screech Owl (Megascops albogularis)

White-throated Screech Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Megascops albogularis | [authority] Cassin, 1850 | [UK] White-throated Screech Owl | [FR] Petit duc a gorge blanche | [DE] Weisskehl-Eule | [ES] Autillo Gorgiblanco | [NL] Witkeelschreeuwuil


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

Head and upperparts dark-rufous brown mottled with black and tiny white and rufous spots. facial disc dark with white “moustache” and white below and above eyes. Wings and tail finely barred chest dark brown spotted tawny and belly tawny buff with some broken bars. Iris yellow or orange.

Listen to the sound of White-throated Screech Owl

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/STRIGIFORMES/Strigidae/sounds/White-throated Screech Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 19 cm size max.: 25 cm
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South America : Venezuela to Bolivia


Humid evergreen montane forest. Prefers open forest, edges and clearings. Strong bond with epiphytes and bamboo trees. Usually from up to 2-3 km but local donw to 1300m.


Nest in multiple places, on ground, in tree cavities or even cup nest. Little data.

Feeding habits

Mainly insects and small mammals, nocturnal hunter in canopy.

Video White-throated Screech Owl


copyright: Steve Blain


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 has not been quantified, 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.
White-throated Screech Owl status Least Concern


Mostly resident, may show some elevation migration during winter.

Distribution map

White-throated Screech Owl distribution range map

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