OWLS   -   STRIGIDAE


Santa Marta Screech-Owl - Megascops sp. nov.
Santa Marta Screech-Owl
Megascops sp. nov.
El Dorado Lodge, Sierra de Santa Marta, Magdalena department, Colombia.
This new species is in the process of being formally described as M. gilesi. It is currently known only from a tiny area on the San Lorenzo ridge in the Santa Marta Mountains from 1700-2600 m elevation. It will likely prove to be more widespread in the mountain range once more areas are surveyed. It is often seen right behind the El Dorado Lodge, where this photo was taken. (S5f)


Santa Marta Screech-Owl - Megascops sp. nov.
Santa Marta Screech-Owl
Megascops sp. nov.
El Dorado Lodge, Sierra de Santa Marta, Magdalena department, Colombia.
This is a more recent photo, also from right behind the lodge, but it is a different individual, appearing less rufous. (S6f)


Pacific Screech-Owl - Megascops cooperi
Pacific Screech-Owl
Megascops cooperi cooperi
La Ensenada Lodge, Guanacaste province, Costa Rica.
Found in dry woodland from Mexico to Costa Rica. (S6f)

Tropical Screech-Owl - Megascops choliba
Tropical Screech-Owl
Megascops choliba luctisomus
El Paujil reserve, Santander department, Colombia.
A very common neotropical owl, occurring in a variety of habits from Costa Rica to Uruguay. (S5f)


Tropical Screech-Owl - Megascops choliba
Tropical Screech-Owl
Megascops choliba wetmorei
San Lorenzo, Salta province, Argentina.
A juvenile, showing distinct barring on the underparts and lacking the vertical streaks of the adult. (S6f)


Peruvian Screech-Owl - Megascops roboratus
Peruvian Screech-Owl
Megascops roboratus pacificus
Quebrada Limón, Lambayeque department, Peru.
Endemic to the Tumbesian and Marañon regions of W Ecuador and N Peru. (S6f)


Peruvian Screech-Owl - Megascops roboratus
Peruvian Screech-Owl
Megascops roboratus pacificus
Quebrada Limón, Lambayeque department, Peru.
In a roost hole. (D1)


Koepcke's Screech-Owl - Megascops koepckeae
Koepcke's Screech-Owl
Megascops koepckeae
Estancia El Chillo, Utcubamba Valley, Amazonas region, Peru.
A poorly-known Peruvian endemic, photographed on a day roost at a well-known stakeout. (S8)


Bare-shanked Screech-Owl - Megascops clarkii
Bare-shanked Screech-Owl
Megascops clarkii
Savegre Valley, San José province, Costa Rica.
This screech-owl is found in highland forests of Costa Rica, Panama, and extreme NW Colombia. (S8f)


Colombian Screech-Owl - Megascops colombianus
Colombian Screech-Owl
Megascops colombianus
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
This very dark-eyed owl is found in subtropical cloudforest in the western Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. (S8f)


Cinnamon Screech-Owl - Megascops petersoni
Cinnamon Screech-Owl
Megascops petersoni
Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia, San Martín, Peru.
This species, restricted to the east slope of the Andes in southern Ecuador and northern Peru, was only described in 1986. Birds resembling this species have recently been observed in the northern part of the central Andes of Colombia, but right now it is unclear if it is the same thing or an undescribed species. (S8f)


Bearded Screech-Owl - Megascops barbarus
Bearded Screech-Owl
Megascops barbarus
South of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas state, Mexico.
It has a rather restricted range from southern Mexico to Guatemala. (S5f)


Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl - Megascops watsonii
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl
Megascops watsonii watsonii
Yasuní Research Station, Orellana province, Ecuador.
This species occurs widely in South American tropical rainforest east of the Andes. There are two subspecies which may deserve to be split due to vocal differences and slight plumage differences. (S6f)


Vermiculated (Napo) Screech-Owl - Megascops guatemalae
Vermiculated (Napo or Foothill) Screech-Owl
Megascops guatemalae napensis
WildSumaco, Napo province, Ecudador.
There is a lot of debate over how to treat the taxonomy of this group. The SACC is choosing to wait for better analyses of vocal and genetic data, lumping them all as Vermiculated until then. The IOC list splits most disjunct forms. Birds such as this one, from the east slope of the Andes, are usually called "Napo" or "Foothill" Screech-Owl when split, though neither name is particularly useful. (S7f)


Montane Forest Screech-Owl - Megascops hoyi
Montane Forest Screech-Owl
Megascops hoyi
San Lorenzo, Salta province, Argentina.
Also known as Hoy's Screech-Owl and Yungas Screech-Owl. The latter makes more sense as this bird is restricted to the yungas cloudforests of S Bolivia and NW Argentina. (S6f)


Black-capped (Variable) Screech-Owl - Megascops atricapilla
Black-capped (Variable) Screech-Owl
Megascops atricapilla
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
A screech-owl endemic to the Atantic Forest. This bird came out of a roost hole and perched in a nearby tree. (D3)


Crested Owl - Lophostrix cristata
Crested Owl
Lophostrix cristata cristata
Sani Lodge, Sucumbíos province, Ecuador.
(S8)


Spectacled Owl - Pulsatrix perspicillata
Spectacled Owl
Pulsatrix perspicillata chapmani
Malvas, Loja province, Ecuador.
One of the most common and widespread neotropical owls. (S8f)


Spectacled Owl - Pulsatrix perspicillata
Spectacled Owl
Pulsatrix perspicillata chapmani
Playa de Oro, Esmeraldas province, Ecuador.
Juvenile. This bird is only just starting to develop the full dark head of the adult. It is a very handsome bird even in "teenager" plumage! (S5f)


Tawny-browed Owl - Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana
Tawny-browed Owl
Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana
Itatiaia National Park, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Replaces the previous species in the Atlantic Forest region. This individual was roosting in a bamboo patch; we found it totally by chance while going off the trail after another bird. (S10)


Band-bellied Owl - Pulsatrix melanota
Band-bellied Owl
Pulsatrix melanota melanota
Pacto Sumaco road, Napo province, Ecuador.
The third and final Pulsatrix, this one is restricted to east Andean cloudforests from Colombia to Bolivia. (D2)


Rufous-legged Owl - Strix rufipes
Rufous-legged Owl
Strix rufipes rufipes
La Campana National Park, Region V, Chile.
A beautiful owl found mainly in Chile, though it also occurs in adjacent parts of Argentina. (S5)


Chaco Owl - Strix chacoensis
Chaco Owl
Strix chacoensis
Taco Pozo, Chaco province, Argentina.
A scarce owl of the chaco region of Argentina, S Bolivia, and W Paraguay. It took me many trips to Argentina before I finally found this beautiful owl. It was living in a grove of medium-sized trees with no understory near a house - hardly pristine chaco habitat! Email me if you would like to know the exact location. (S8f)


Great Horned Owl - Bubo virginianus
Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus nacurutu
Transpantanal Highway, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
This familiar North American species is also widespread in South America. (S11)


Mottled Owl - Ciccaba virgata
Mottled Owl
Ciccaba virgata centralis
Sierra de los Tuxtlas, Veracruz state, Mexico.
This owl was still vocal and responsive just after sunrise. My recordings of this bird can be heard here. (S5f)


Black-and-white Owl - Ciccaba nigrolineata
Black-and-white Owl
Ciccaba nigrolineata
Orotina, Alajuela province, Costa Rica.
For many years this owl lived in the town square of this small, pleasant town, and many birders passing through western Costa Rica stopped to have a look. I haven't been there in years, but I have heard that sadly the owl is no longer there. (D3)


Rufous-banded Owl - Ciccaba albitarsis
Rufous-banded Owl
Ciccaba albitarsis
Tapichalaca reserve, Zamora-Chinchipe province, Ecuador
This bird flew at my head when I was playing back for a White-throated Screech-Owl. Luckily it realized I was not prey at the last moment and veered away! (S8f)


Northern (Mountain) Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium gnoma gnoma
Northern (Mountain) Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium gnoma gnoma
La Cumbre, Oaxaca state, Mexico.
Currently lumped again with it's North American counterpart. (D5)


Andean Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium jardinii
Andean Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium jardinii
Tandayapa Pass, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
This species is widespread in high Andean forests from Venezuela south to northern Peru north of the Rio Marañon. In NW Ecuador, it replaces Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl (G. nubicola) above about 2000 m. This is a nice brown morph. See below for a rufous bird. (S7)


Andean Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium jardinii
Andean Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium jardinii
Tandayapa Pass, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Rufous morph. (D3)


Yungas Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium bolivianum
Yungas Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium bolivianum
Abra Barro Negro, Amazonas department, Peru.
This species replaces the previous south of the Rio Marañon. It was formerly considered a subspecies of that species, but has a much slower paced song. (S6)


Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium costaricanum
Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium costaricanum
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San José province, Costa Rica.
One of the more distinctive members of the genus, with bright and contrasting buff spots over much of its body. (D3)


Least Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium minutissimum
Least Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium minutissimum
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Another owl restricted to the Atlantic Forest, where it is found only inside mature forest. This bird was singing. (D3)


Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium brasilianum
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium brasilianum ucayalae(?)
Puerto Francisco de Orellana (Coca), Orellana province, Ecuador.
Probably the most common neotropical owl. This is a rufous morph, which lacks distinct bands on the tail. (D3)


Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium brasilianum
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium brasilianum ucayalae(?)
Near the Blanquillo Macaw Lick, Madre de Dios department, Peru.
Notice that the brown morph does have obvious tail bands. (D2)


Austral Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium nana
Austral Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium nana
Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.
The southernmost pymgy-owl, found in southern Chile and Argentina. (S8)


Peruvian Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium peruanum
Peruvian Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium peruanum
Olmedo, Guayas province, Ecuador.
A dry forest species found mainly west of the Andes, but also in some intermontane valleys. Not a well-named species, since it is found throughout most of western Ecuador as well. (S8)


Peruvian Pygmy-Owl - Glaucidium peruanum
Peruvian Pygmy-Owl
Glaucidium peruanum
Cerritos, Guayas province, Ecuador.
(S8)


Long-whiskered Owlet - Xenoglaux loweryi
Long-whiskered Owlet
Xenoglaux loweryi
Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia, San Martín, Peru.
Up until a few years ago, this species defined the term "near-mythical." After it's description in 1977, about 25 years passed with no further sightings, and it's voice was unknown. Then, a few birds were once again mist-netted and finally it's voice was recorded; a new reserve was then created with trails into the forest. Soon after birders were starting to see it on a fairly regular basis. Frank Lambert and I were some of the first birders to see this species outside of a mist net, on 19 May 2008, though this photo was taken much later on 29 Sep 2015. Now it is a bird that most visitors actually have a real chance of seeing - if not at Owlet Lodge, then at other sites nearby. (S8f)


Burrowing Owl - Athene cunicularia
Burrowing Owl
Athene cunicularia punensis
Túcume, Lambayeque department, Peru.
(S6)


Burrowing Owl - Athene cunicularia
Burrowing Owl
Athene cunicularia grallaria
Jeremoaba-Canudos road, Bahia state, Brazil.
(S6)


Burrowing Owl - Athene cunicularia
Burrowing Owl
Athene cunicularia juninensis
Laguna de los Pozuelos, Jujuy province, Argentina.
(S6)


Stygian Owl - Asio stygius
Stygian Owl
Asio stygius stygius
Vale das Taquaras, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Fairly widespread but never common. It is extremely rare in the state of Rio; apparently this is one of only very few records in the last 20 years. (S5)



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