Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Puerto Rican Screech-Owl Megascops nudipes

  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Chloe Goodson


Conservation Status

Puerto Rican Screech-Owl is confined to Puerto Rico, but is widespread and common, and the population is believed to be stable. Consequently its IUCN Red List status is Least Concern.

The species formerly occurred on the Virgin Islands, but now apparently is extinct there; this population was described as a separate subspecies, although the distinctiveness of this taxon has been questioned (Moreno 1998; see Distribution and Effects of human activity on populations).

Effects of human activity on populations

Puerto Rican Screech-Owl formerly occurred on the Virgin Islands, but apparently now is extinct there. The reasons for its disappearance are not known, but may be related to the extensive destruction of native forests on the Virgin Islands in the late 19th century (Moreno 1998). Egg predation by Pearly-eyed Thrasher (Margarops fuscatus) perhaps also played a role in its disappearance (König and Weick 2008).

Recommended Citation

Goodson, C. (2014). Puerto Rican Screech-Owl (Megascops nudipes), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.