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Long-tufted Screech-Owl - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Santa Catarina Screech-Owl

Photo © by renato.santos.4b
Quatro Barra, Paraná, Brazil, August 2018
Megascops sanctaecatarinae

Otus sanctaecatarinae


25-28 cm (9¾-11 in): a heavily built Screech-Owl with strong legs and feet.
Found in a greyish, a brown, and a rufous morph, all with coarse black markings.
Eyes yellow to brownish.

Similar species

Black-capped Screech-Owl is smaller but has tufts as long as Long-tufted Screech-Owl. Ranges of these two species are adjacent (parapatric).


Uncommon and local in the foothills of southern Brazil (Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), Uruguay, and NE Argentina.


This is a monotypic species1.

This species has previously been considered a subspecies of Black-capped Screech-Owl

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 has been accepted by, among other authorities, the American Ornithologists' Union.


Foothills (300 - 800 m asl) in open forests, woodland, edges, and even towns with groups of trees, but avoids dense interior forests.


Mostly nocturnal, sometimes crepuscular.


Food mainly is invertebrates, with some small vertebrates, including spiders, cockroaches and crickets. Usually hunts from a perch, taking prey from branches, leaves, or the ground.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. König, C. and F. Weick 2008. Owls of the World, second edition. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 978-0-7136-6548-2
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Aug 2018)

Recommended Citation

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