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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Bearded Screech-Owl Megascops barbarus

Paula L. Enríquez
Version: 1.0 — Published May 6, 2011



Microhabitat for foraging

Field observations indicated that Bearded Screech-Owl hunt in understory, using sit and wait behavior. When prey is located, the owl captures it on the ground among dry leaves with the foot or bill. Prey is eaten at capture sites, and rarely taken to roost for consumption. After eating, owls spend 10 or 15 minutes resting on the branch. No pellets have been found under roosting sites or in the nest (Enríquez 2007, Enríquez and Cheng 2008).


The species is territorial and easily responds to playback. Home range estimates for females in the highlands of Chiapas are 20.61 ± 6.42 ha (n=3) and 23.44 ± 6.05 ha (n=5) for males. These estimates were not different between the sexes (F1,6 = 0.09; P = 0.07; Enríquez 2007).

Sexual Behavior

Social and interspecific behavior


Kinds of predation

Predation has been considered of high impact in owl communities. Owls could be exposed to predators along gaps or forest borders when are roosting. A female with a radio transmiter in El Huitepec Reserve was found dead far from her home area and signs of death from predation, although the predator was not identified (Enríquez 2007).

Recommended Citation

Enríquez, P. L. (2011). Bearded Screech-Owl (Megascops barbarus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.besowl.01