Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Long-tufted Screech-owl (Megascops sanctaecatarinae)


French: Petit-duc à aigrettes longues German: Langohr-Kreischeule Spanish: Autillo de Santa Catarina
Other common names: Santa Catarina Screech-owl

Scops sanctæ-catarinæ


, 1897,

southern Brazil


Perhaps a member of the putative M. atricapilla species-group; recent analysis using 3 nuclear genes and 3 mitochondrial genes placed it in clade with M. asio, M. kennicottii, M. cooperi, M. barbarus, M. atricapilla, M. roboratus, M. watsonii, M. guatemalae and M. vermiculatus#R. Formerly considered conspecific with M. atricapilla, but vocally and morphologically distinct, and treatment as separate species further supported by DNA evidence. Taxonomy of Megascops in S Brazil and Argentine province of Misiones remains to be clarified. Name argentinus, which has erroneously been applied to S populations of M. atricapilla, might ultimately prove to be a senior synonym for present species, but fuller investigation needed#R. Name maxima is a synonym of sanctaecatarinae. Monotypic.


SE Brazil (S Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul), NE Argentina (Misiones) and N Uruguay#R.

Descriptive notes

25–28 cm; male 155–194 g, female 174–211 g. Large Megascops, with heavy body and strong feet. Occurs in brown and rufous morphs. Differs from... read more


Male primary song a guttural, fast trill, c. 13–14 notes per second, lasting from c. 5–... read more


Semi-open woodland, wooded pasture, upland moors with patches of Araucaria, and forest... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and small vertebrates. Food items provided to nestlings in Paraná State, Brazil, included spiders, cockroaches, crickets,... read more


Season apparently from late Aug/Sept; nest in tree cavity. Two nests in Paraná State, S Brazil, were in tree holes c. 3 m above the... read more


Probably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No information on numbers or population trends, but probably declining. Common in forested parts of Rio Grande do Sul and... 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). Long-tufted Screech-owl (Megascops sanctaecatarinae). 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 17 February 2020).