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Bare-shanked Screech-Owl - BirdForum Opus

Megascops clarkii

Otus clarkii

Photo © by Greg Lavaty
between Arenal and San Jose, Costa Rica, January 2009



  • Reddish-brown back
  • Light gingery middle and lower chest and stomach with buffy white patchy spots
  • Dark markings on upper chest and throat
  • Cinnamon face, slightly darker facial rim, throat and head
  • Large head
  • Small ear tufts
  • Yellow iris
  • Grey bill


Montane forests of Costa Rica to extreme north-western Colombia


This is a monotypic species[1].

This and almost all Screech-Owls in the Americas have previously been considered to belong in the same genus (Otus) as the European and Asian Scops-Owls, but a reassignment to Megascops have been accepted by among other authorities, the American Ornithologists' Union.


Humid dense mountain forests, forest edges and cloudforests from about 3,000 to 7,600 ft.




Included in their insectivorous diet are shrews and small rodents.


Song: a deep repetitive wook wook wook.
Call: a deep whistled hu-hu, Hoo Hoo hoo.
The female's call is slightly higher pitched and she has an additional call of coo, coo-coo-coo.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Owling.com

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