Whiskered Screech-Owl

Megascops trichopsis

Order

STRIGIFORMES

Family

Barn Owls, Typical Owls (Tytonidae & Strigidae)

Code 4

WHSO

Code 6

MEGTRI

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Whiskered Screech-Owl is a small owl which looks much like the Western Screech Owl. The preferred breeding range of this bird includes dense coniferous and oak forests, as well as coffee plantations found at high elevations. This species is found in southeastern Arizona in the United States and north central Nicaragua. The Whiskered Screech-Owl sits on a perch and swoops down to catch prey at night. Typical diets consist of insects, mammals, grasshoppers, beetles and moths. Nests are made in tree cavities, and sometimes abandoned woodpecker holes. The conservation rating for the Whiskered Screech-Owl is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Whiskered Screech-Owl: Small owl with distinct ear tufts, gray and brown mottled upperparts, and brown-streaked, white-barred underparts. It is named for its facial whiskers, which are longer and denser than in other screech owls. Eyes are yellow. Flight is mothlike with rapid, silent wing beats.


Range and Habitat

Whiskered Screech-Owl: This species is a resident within its range, which extends from extreme southeast Arizona south through western and central Mexico. In the northern part of its range, there may be some down slope movements in winter. Its preferred habitats include montane with dense oak and oak-conifer forests.

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Whiskered Screech-Owl SONGS AND CALLS

Whiskered Screech-Owl NN1

High-pitched scold calls.

Whiskered Screech-Owl NN2

Song consists of about 8 evenly spaced "toot" notes.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"woot, woot, woot, woot"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Whiskered Screech Owl is also called the Arizona Whiskered Owl, Spotted Screech-Owl and Whiskered Owl.
  • Their call is a series of soft hoots, long and short notes interspersed, which has been likened to Morse code.
  • They are the smallest of the three Screech-Owls that occur in North America. All three Screech-Owls are very similar in appearance and can only positively be distinguished in the field by their call.
  • A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "glaring", "parliament", "stooping", and "wisdom" of owls.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X