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Western Screech Owl

From Opus

Photo by oldsquawPueblo, Colorado
Photo by oldsquaw
Pueblo, Colorado
Megascops kennicottii

Otus kennicottii


[edit] Identification

  • Brown or dark grey plumage
  • Streaked underparts
  • Round head with ear tufts
  • Yellow eyes
  • Yellowish bill.

[edit] Distribution

Alaska and north-western Canada to California and Mexico.

[edit] Taxonomy

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.

A study showing strong genetic structure may indicate a possible future split.

[edit] Subspecies[1]

  • M. k. kennicottii:
  • M. k. bendirei:
  • M. k. aikeni:
  • M. k. cardonensis:
  • M. k. xantusi:
  • M. k. yumanensis:
  • M. k.i vinaceus:
  • Northern Mexico (southern Sonora and western Chihuahua to northern Sinaloa)
  • M. k. suttoni:

[edit] Habitat

Open deciduous or mixed woods.

[edit] Behaviour

They are active during the night or as dusk approaches.

[edit] Breeding

They nest in a cavity in a tree or cactus, often using old woodpecker holes.

[edit] Diet

They wait on a perch and swoop down on prey; they may also catch insects in flight. The diet includes small mammals and large insects, also small birds.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Paper describing genetic findings with this species

[edit] External Links


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