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Cloud-forest Screech-Owl - BirdForum Opus

Megascops marshalli

Otus marshalli


20-23 cm
Ear tufts very short in a rufous-colored Screech-Owl. Much of the facial disc is brown, conspicuously rimmed with black. Below the bird has dark center-shaft streaks and rufous bars, separated by white glob-like spots, giving a very unique spotted appearance. Upperside chestnut with white scapular marks. Eyes are brown.

Similar Species

Usually found at higher elevation than Rufescent Screech-Owl.


South America: found only in the cloud forests of east side of the Andes of central Peru (Pasco and Cuzco); also recently discovered in Bolivia.


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.


Cloud-forest with very dense understory vegetation, 1,920-2,560 m asl.


"A" song is a series of single notes repeated in a staccato like series at rapid pace. A less frequently heard sound is a "B" type song: This began with three loud well separated notes, followed by a long series of notes, similar to the A song[3].


  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 9780713665482
  3. Birdforum thread with description of this species

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