Cinnamon Screech-Owl Megascops petersoni

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg

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.


© Bret Whitney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2012). Cinnamon Screech-Owl (Megascops petersoni), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.