Middle American Screech Owl

The Middle American Screech Owl (Megascops guatemalae), also known as the Middle American Screech Owl, is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. It is found in forests and dense second growth from Mexico to Costa Rica. Some authorities include Chocó Screech Owl and Foothill Screech Owl in M. guatemalae, but under the English name Vermiculated Screech Owl. When split, the name Vermiculated Screech Owl (M. vermiculatus) is sometimes used for the population in Costa Rica and Panama, but based on voices all in Panama appear to be M. centralis (with its short-trilled song), while populations in Costa Rica appear to be divided between M. centralis and M. guatemalae (with its long-trilled song).

With a length of 20 to 23 centimetres (7.9 to 9.1 in), it is a smaller than most other screech-owls. Unlike other owls of the same genus, it has feathered feet. It is dimorphic, with one morph overall grayish-brown and the other overall rufous. The tail is relatively long for an owl, the underside has conspicuous longitudinal stripes and some horizontal stripes. Its face is surrounded by a dark feather edge and it has relatively short ear tufts. The eyes are yellow. The beak is pale olive-greenish in color.

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