The genus Megascops comprises 22 living species are known at present, but new ones are frequently recognized and unknown ones are still being discovered on a regular basis, especially in the Andes. For most of the 20th century, this genus was merged with the Old World scops-owls in Otus, but nowadays it is again considered separate based on a range of behavioral, biogeographical, morphological and DNA sequence data. Screech-owls are restricted to the Americas. Some species formerly placed with them are nowadays considered more distinct.
As usual for owls, female screech-owls are usually larger and fatter than the males of their species, with owls of both sexes being compact in size, shape, and height. The Eastern Screech-owl Megascops asio is one of the smallest species of owls in North America. All of the birds in this genus are small and agile. Screech-owls are generally colored in various brownish hues with usually a whitish, patterned underside, which helps to camouflage them against the bark of trees. Some are polymorphic, occurring in a grayish- and a reddish-brown morph.
Two morphs, brown and rufous. Rather large ear tufts. Crown light brown speckled dark. White spots on wing edges. Upperparts lightly streaked black. Facal disk light rufous with black rim on sides. White eyebrowes and yellow iris. Flight feathers barred whitish-brownish. Large and bulky.
Listen to the sound of Long-tufted Screech Owl
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
South America : Southeast.
Woodland with open patches, patched moorland and forest edges and secondary growth. In and near villages and agriculture as long as patches of trees are available.
Nests in tree cavity, no further data.
Hunts by siotting and waiting for prey, drops on prey when spotted. Usually lareg insects and small vertebrates.
Video Long-tufted Screech Owl
copyright: Josep del Hoyo
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
If you hear a mourning-dove around your house, some one in the house will die unless you tie a knot into each corner of your apron. Then the mourning-dove will stop mourning and go away.
Dear visitor, we started two exciting new projects on PoB. Unique on the net we started posting Vintage plates and bird descriptions from the dawn of ornithology. Next to this we collected stories about birds in mythology, fables and folk lore. Many of these stories are founded in what is nowadays called ethno-ornithology. The next few months we will be publishing about 2000 new posts... The past months were quiet on the posting front, but frantic in research. Enjoy and help us by posting or commenting your own stories, fables or bird legends.
Chief editor PoB.
Buzzards never build a nest, because small birds say to them, "when the sun shines, what is the use of building a nest? Sun shine. When it rains, build when the rain stop." Dumb Buzzard never does build a nest.
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