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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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior



Owls communicate through vocalizations (calls) that are used to defend territorial areas or ti attract females. Each owl species has its own repertoire. For the Bearded Screech-Owl the main call is given by the male. This is a quiet and low-pitched, cricket-like trill of 3-5 s in duration, rising and dropping at the end. This is the territorial (or A) song. Bearded Screech-Owls also give a soft ventriloquial hu (Howell and Webb 1995). In the field, the sexes can be identified by voice: the calls of the male are lower in pitch than are the calls of the female. The courtship (B) song has not been recorded in this species (Marshall 1967, König et al. 1999).

Geographic variation

There is no report of geographic variation in vocalizations in the Bearded Screech-Owl.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

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