Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Near Threatened

Colombian Screech-owl (Megascops colombianus)


French: Petit-duc de Colombie German: Kolumbienkreischeule Spanish: Autillo colombiano

Otus colombianus


, 1952,

El Tambo, 5000 feet [c. 1700 m], Cauca, Colombia


Often treated as race of M. ingens. Sometimes M. petersoni treated as race of present species. Monotypic.


W slope of Andes from WC Colombia (Valle) to NW Ecuador.

Descriptive notes

26–28 cm; male 150–156 g, female c. 210 g. Fairly large screech-owl with short ear-tufts and long legs. Occurs in grey-brown and rufous morphs. Very similar to... read more


Male song a series of flute-like, equally spaces toots; similar to song of M. ingens... read more


On west slope of Andes in cloudforest with dense understorey, typically from 1300–2400 m... read more

Food and feeding

Very little information. Said to feed on large insects and other arthropods and small vertebrates. One captured in NW Ecuador was carrying... read more


Poorly known. Like other members of its genus, typical nest probably in tree in old woodpecker hole or natural cavity. Nest found near... read more


Probably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Chocó EBA. Estimated global population only 6700... 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. (2020). Colombian Screech-owl (Megascops colombianus). 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 19 February 2020).