Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Bearded Screech-owl (Megascops barbarus)


French: Petit-duc bridé German: Tropfenkreischeule Spanish: Autillo barbudo

Scops barbarus

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1868,

Santa Barbara, Vera Paz, Guatemala


Relationships uncertain; has been considered ecological counterpart of Psiloscops flammeolus. Monotypic.


Highlands of S Mexico (Chiapas) and N Guatemala.

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; male 58–70 g, female 62–79 g. Small screech-owl with very small ear tufts; wings project beyond short tail. Occurs in brown and rufous morphs.... read more


Short, fast trill lasting 3–5 seconds, increasing in volume, at times dropping abruptly at... read more


Highland pine and pine-oak forest, humid oak forest and cloudforest. Ranges from 1400–2600 m... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Mainly large insects; 65 prey items in fecal samples from Chiapas, Mexico, consisted of 1·5% arachnids, 83... read more


Little information. Nesting occurs from Mar through at least Jun. Probably an obligate cavity nester. First known nest discovered in... read more


Presumably mostly resident. Adult female first captured in Jul 1998 last recaptured in Aug 2001 c.... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Formerly considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in North Central American Highlands EBA. Considered fairly common but very local... 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. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Bearded Screech-owl (Megascops barbarus). 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 18 November 2019).