skip to content

Megascops nudipes

Puerto Rican Screech-Owl

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

Authors: Goodson, Chloe

Megascops nudipes

Puerto Rico; 2 April 2010 © Lucas Limonta

Puerto Rican Screech-Owl is found throughout the island of Puerto Rico. Formerly, at least, it also occurred on many of the Virgin Islands, but there appear to be no recent, confirmed records from any islands other than the main island of Puerto Rico. This is a typical mid-sized screech-owl with an obviously rounded head and no ear-tufts. There are two color morphs, brown and rufous, both of which have obvious white patches at the base of facial disc. The species inhabits forests and woodlands of all types, including within urban areas, and it occurs from the lowlands up to about 900 m above sea level. Like most screech-owls, the species is most easily located by its voice, a short, deep, trill that lasts 3–5 seconds, and which is higher pitched in the female. The breeding season of Puerto Rican Screech-Owl appears to be April–June.

Recommended Citation

Goodson, Chloe. 2014. Puerto Rican Screech-Owl (Megascops nudipes), 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:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Small vertebrates and large arthropods
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Platform
  • Clutch: 1 - 4
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern