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Megascops petersoni

Cinnamon Screech-Owl

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S

Megascops petersoni

Abra Patricia, San Martín, Peru; 21 September 2010 © Dusan Brinkhuizen

One of a suite of rather recently named Megascops owls named for people, the Cinnamon Screech-Owl’s scientific name celebrates one of the most famous ‘birders’ of them all, the father of modern field guides, Roger Tory Peterson. It is found in northern Peru and southeastern Ecuador, and is a relatively small screech-owl with mid-length ear-tufts. Like many other Andean screech-owls, it is a poorly known inhabitant of dense montane forests, and almost nothing is known about its behavior or ecology. Both red and brown color morphs have been noted; both are rather similar in plumage to the respective morphs of the larger Rufescent Screech-Owl (Megascops ingens), but are characterized by their lack of obvious white in the plumage, and in being brighter colored. This species’ song is slightly faster than that of Megascops ingens. Cinnamon Screech-Owl usually occurs at higher elevations than Rufescent, but overlap is suspected to occur.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S. 2012. Cinnamon Screech-Owl (Megascops petersoni), 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, but has been revised by Neotropical Birds Online.

The data for the Infonatura 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:
  • Nest Form:Undescribed
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern