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Megascops koepckeae

Koepcke's Screech-Owl

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S

Megascops koepckeae

Apurímac valley, Abancay area, Apurímac, Peru; 14 July 2011 © Martin Berg

Koepcke’s Screech-Owl is a poorly known owl that is endemic to northern and central Peru; it occurs along the west slope of the Andes from Cajamarca south to Lima, and in dry intermontane valleys from Amazonas south to Apurímac. Koepcke's Screech-Owl is similar in appearance to Peruvian Screech-Owl (Megascops roboratus), and indeed Koecke's was not even recognized as a separate species until the early 1980s. Koepcke’s Screech-Owl is slightly larger than Peruvian, has a paler crown and forecrown, and lacks a pale band across the nape. The stuttering, staccato song of Koepcke's also is very different from the purring trill given by Peruvian. Koepcke's Screech-Owls inhabit wooded areas and arid forest patches on Andean slopes, as well as Polypeis woodland in the upper montane zone. Koepcke's Screech-Owl is named in honor of Maria Koepcke, a pioneering field biologist and the leading ornithologist in Peru during the 1950s and 1960s. The biology of Koepcke's Screech-Owl is very poorly known, and while its life history no doubt is similar to that of other members of the genus, much further research is required to determine the status, ecology, and biology of this species.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S. 2016. Koepcke's Screech-Owl (Megascops koepckeae), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Polylepis woodland
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern