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Version 1.0

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Koepcke's Screech-Owl Megascops koepckeae

Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published February 5, 2016

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

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The primary song (also known as the territorial or A song) of Koepcke's Screech-Owl is described as "a sequence of 8-10 low uk notes, slightly rising in pitch and with the last note falling" (Koepcke, in König and Weick 2008); as "a loud, staccato series of notes with slowing pace and rising volume: ko-ko-ko-ko ka ka KA KAH!" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010); and as "a loud, rising and falling series of 'hysterical' shrill notes that slows down, especially at the end, with accentuated second or third to last notes: ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ka Ká Ka Kah or ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ko-ka Ká Kah ... quite unlike any other Megascops" (Fjeldså et al. 2012).

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

There is geographic variation in vocalizations: the song of the southern interior subspecies, hockingi, is longer and higher pitched than the song of nominate koepckeae (Fjeldså et al. 2012).

The aggressive song is described as "a series of quieter short hoots rising and falling in pitch" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

A pair of Koepcke's Screech-Owls may sometimes duet, with the primary song of one bird answered with a similar song or with only hiss (which perhaps is given only by the female?) (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Koepcke's Screech-Owl can be heard at Macaulay Library, at xeno-canto, and at Internet Bird Collection.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2016). Koepcke's Screech-Owl (Megascops koepckeae), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.koesco1.01