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Cinnamon Screech-Owl - BirdForum Opus

Photo by megan perkins
Abra Patricia, N Peru, November 2011
Megascops petersoni

Otus petersoni


21 cm - so a smaller Screech-Owl. Warm buffish or reddish brown plumage without extensive vermiculations. No white shoulder spots. Tarsi almost fully feathered. Eyes dark brown. Has medium to short ear-tufts.

Similar species

Rufescent Screech-Owl overlaps partially in range (may segregate by elevation with Rufescent most often lower). See also Foothill Screech-Owl and Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl.


Southern Ecuador to northern Peru on the eastern side of the Andes. It has lately also been shown to occur in central 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.

This species has previously been considered a subspecies of the Cloud-forest Screech-Owl (Megascops marshalli).


Cloud forests in roughly 1600-2500 m asl.


Feeds mainly on insects taken during the night.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  2. König, C. and F. Weick 2008. Owls of the World, second edition. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 978-0-7136-6548-2
  3. Freeman & Julio 2010. The nest and egg of Cinnamon Screech-Owl Megascops petersoni in central Colombia. Cotinga 32:107.

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