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Puerto Rican Screech-Owl Megascops nudipes

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The territorial song (or "A-song") of Puerto Rican Screech-Owl is "a short, relatively deep, somewhat guttural, toad-like quavering trill of c. 3-5 seconds' duration, rrurrrrrrr" (König and Weick 2008).

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

The "B-song" is used in duets between male and female (König and Weick 2008), and perhaps in other contexts (aggression?).

Other vocalizations of Puerto Rican Screech-Owl include "a soft cackling gu-gu", which may be a contact call (König and Weick 2008), and "a loud coo-coo" (König and Weick 2008). The latter call gave rise to the local English name, "Cuckoo Bird".

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Puerto Rican Screech-Owl can be heard at Macaulay Library, at xeno-canto, and at Internet Bird Collection.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

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.