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Whiskered Screech-Owl
A Reference for North and Central American Owls

 The Whiskered Screech-Owl is similar to the Western Screech-Owl although is slightly smaller and has noticeable "whiskers". However, they can only be reliably distinguished in the field by their calls. Here you will find photos, recordings and a brief field notes section to help identify and enjoy this beautiful owl. A more in depth write up and range map can be found in its natural history page (the Biology link). To jump immediately to any of these sections use the Page Jump Links below.

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Photo Gallery
Additional photos
Audio Recordings
Field Notes
Biology

 

Streaming Real Video Clips

Whiskered Screech-Owl
Madera Canyon
August 2001

 

PHOTO GALLERY
Click on the thumbnail to bring up each of the Owl photos.

Whiskered Screech-Owl Photo

84K

Whiskered Screech-Owl Photo

76K

Whiskered Screech-Owl Photo

78K

Madera Canyon,
Arizona
September 1999

Madera Canyon,
Arizona
September 1999
Madera Canyon,
Arizona
September 1999

Whiskered Screech-Owl Photo

113K

Whiskered Screech-Owl Photo

79K

Whiskered Screech-Owl Photo

102K
Portal,
Arizona
August 2012
Garden Canyon,
Arizona
August 2001
Portal,
Arizona
August 2012

Additional Photos

Photo 1
66K

Photo 2
73K

Photo 3
115K

RECORDINGS
Click on the sonograms to bring up each of the recordings.

Sound File
56K
Madera Canyon,
Arizona
September 1999

Sound File
53K
Madera Canyon,
Arizona
September 1999

Sound File
78K
Madera Canyon,
Arizona
September 1999

A female owl singing with "descending kew notes" (advertisement call). This owl sat for many hours and called with this  beautiful soft song. An alarm call or "bark". A very excited (male/female) 
pair of owls singing together.

FIELD NOTES
Whiskered Screech-Owl - Megascops (Otus) trichopsis

  Separation in the field, of the Screech-Owls, is actually only feasible by voice. The Whiskered Screech-Owl can be distinguished by its slower more evenly spaced notes in its call in contrast with the Western Screech-Owl's speeded up "bouncing ball". This owl is primarily found in Southern Arizona and Mexico and typically at a higher elevation than Western Screech-Owl. The sexes are alike in appearance although male and female can be distinguished by voice. The ear tufts may or may not be visible in the field although are smaller than the Western Screech-Owl's. The color of the U.S. (Arizona) birds are generally light gray but become increasingly reddish brown into its southern range in Mexico. The bill is pale grayish yellow or dull green and the iris of the eyes are yellow. Length is 7 1/4" (about the size of a Bluebird) so it is also smaller than the Western Screech-Owl. (In the hand, a Whiskered Screech-Owl can also be distinguished by its shorter toes and bill along with other minor differences not readily visible in the field.) A nocturnal owl.

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