Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Jamaican Owl (Pseudoscops grammicus)


French: Hibou de Jamaïque German: Jamaikaeule Spanish: Búho jamaicano

Ephialtes grammicus


, 1847,

Tait-Shafton, Jamaica


Formerly placed in Asio; later suggested that present species is closely related to Asio clamator and A. stygius and that all three be placed together in Pseudoscops; more recent DNA studies, however, seem to confirm that present species is better treated separately in its own genus. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

27–33 cm; 335 g (n = 1 of unknown sex). Medium-sized owl with conspicuous ear tufts; well-developed facial disc rufous, edged white and black; upperparts... read more


High, quivering hoot and guttural growl. Juvenile begging call similar to that of juvenile Asio... read more


Open woodland, forest edge, occasionally open parkland, plantations and gardens; sometimes in small... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Generalist predator; takes insects, especially beetles; also spiders, mice, lizards and tree frogs. Pellets collected... read more


Poorly known. Nesting reported from Mar–Oct, and laying from Dec–Jun. Nest in cavity of large tree, or in tree fork concealed... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Jamaica EBA. Considered common and widespread in Jamaica; ecology, however, remains... read more

Recommended citation

Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Jamaican Owl (Pseudoscops grammicus). 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 7 December 2019).