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Megascops colombianus

Colombian Screech-Owl

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Marín-Gómez, Oscar Humberto

Megascops colombianus

Reserva Las Gralarias, Pichincha, Ecuador; 15 February 2012 © Dušan Brinkhuizen

Described in the early 1950s by the famous museum ornithologist Melvin Traylor, the Colombian Screech-Owl is endemic to the Chocó bioregion, where it ranges from west-central Colombia to northwest Ecuador, and is principally found at elevations between 1300 and 2300 m. Almost nothing is known about the biology and behavior of this species. Two color morphs, gray brown and rufous, are known, both of which differ from the similarly sized, but entirely allopatric Rufescent Screech-Owl (Megascops ingens) in having less obvious white spotting on the scapulars, and in having no whitish in the flight feathers or the underparts. The confused taxonomy of Andean screech-owls has lead to Colombian Screech-Owl being treated either as a subspecies of the much more widespread Rufescent Screech-Owl or as a separate species, which sometimes includes Cinnamon Screech-Owl (Megascops petersoni) as a subspecies.

Recommended Citation

Marín-Gómez, Oscar Humberto. 2016. Colombian Screech-Owl (Megascops colombianus), 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:Montane evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Small vertebrates and large arthropods
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Undescribed
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Near Threatened