Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Yungas Screech-owl (Megascops hoyi)


French: Petit-duc de Hoy German: Hoykreischeule Spanish: Autillo fresco
Other common names: Hoy's Screech-owl, Montane Forest Screech-owl

Otus hoyi

C. König and Straneck

, 1989,

mountain forest at La Cornisa, c. 40 km north of the city of Salta, Argentina


Perhaps a member of the putative M. atricapilla species-group (but see below). Sometimes considered conspecific with M. atricapilla, but vocally distinct, and treatment as separate species supported by DNA evidence. Using three mitochondrial genes and three nuclear genes, recent study places present species in clade of tropical species with M. petersoni, M. marshalli, M. ingens, and M. colombianus#R. Monotypic.


Mountains of S Bolivia (S from Cochabamba) and NW Argentina (S to Tucumán, possibly to Catamarca).

Descriptive notes

23–24 cm; 110–145 g. Medium-sized screech-owl with fairly small ear tufts; occurs in grey, brown and rufous morphs. Facial disc grey-brown with fine, dark... read more


Primary song begins softly, gradually swells into rapid staccato of “u” notes, 11 per... read more


Montane forest and cloudforest, in more or less moist areas with tall, thick trees and epiphytes;... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Probably feeds primarily on insects (locusts, moths) and spiders; one stomach of collected bird had remains of small rodent.... read more


Probably lays in Sept–Oct; two recently fledged young seen in Nov. In Argentina, main singing activity noted in last third of Sept;... read more


Not known. Probably mostly resident; birds at upper end of elevational range posited to move to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Appears not uncommon locally. Probably subject to some loss of habitat through deforestation, perhaps also overgrazing;... 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). Yungas Screech-owl (Megascops hoyi). 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 14 December 2019).