Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Balsas Screech-owl (Megascops seductus)


French: Petit-duc du Balsas German: Balsaskreischeule Spanish: Autillo del Balsas

Otus vinaceus seductus

R. T. Moore

, 1941,

Michoacán, Mexico


Generally thought to be closest to M. kennicottii, M. cooperi and M. asio. Often treated as a race of M. kennicottii or M. asio, but differs in eye colour and vocalizations. Birds from Colima sometimes separated as race colimensis. Monotypic.


SW Mexico from S Jalisco and Colima to Guerrero.

Descriptive notes

24–27 cm; 150–174 g. Fairly large screech-owl with short ear tufts; similar to race vinaceus of M. kennicottii; differs in larger size, browner... read more


Primary song similar to the bouncing-ball song of closely related M. kennicottii but... read more


Open to semi-open dry tropical forest, deciduous woodland with giant cardon and mesquite, thorn... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Said to feed on insects and other arthropods and small vertebrates.


Three nests recently discovered in state of Morelos, in consecutive years, one with a young c. 2 weeks old in early Jun, and the other two... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Formerly considered Near Threatened but downlisted in 2014 after geographic range found to be larger than initially thought... read more

Recommended citation

Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L., Sharpe, C.J. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Balsas Screech-owl (Megascops seductus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).