Whiskered Screech-Owl (species: Megascops trichopsis) in US Lower 48 Birds (Gaia Guide)
Megascops trichopsis
Whiskered Screech-Owl

©Kathy & sam: Whiskered Screech-owl (Megascops trichopsis)

©Len Blumin: Whiskered Screech-owl (Megascops trichopsis) - these owls prefer holes in Sycamore trees
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae
Genus Megascops
Species Megascops trichopsis



Distinguishing features

Adults occur in 2 color morphs, in either brown or dark grey plumage. They have a round head with ear tufts, yellow eyes and a yellowish bill. The bird looks very similar to a western screech owl, but has heavier barring on the breast, and is slightly smaller in size. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 19 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Up to 48 cm



Distribution and habitat preferences

Its range extends from southeasternmost Arizona (the Madrean sky islands region) in the United States, southwards through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, to north central Nicaragua. Their breeding habitat is dense coniferous or oak woodlands, and coffee plantations usually occurring at higher elevations than the Western Screech-owl.

Audio recordings


Recorded at Pinery Canyon upper campground, Coronado National Forest, Cochise County, Arizona in United States

© Lance A. M. Benner


They mainly eat small mammals and large insects, with grasshoppers, beetles, moths making up a large portion of their diet. (Wikipedia)

Web resources