Megascops trichopsis - (Wagler, 1832)
Whiskered Screech-Owl
Synonym(s): Otus trichopsis (Wagler, 1832)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Megascops trichopsis (Wagler, 1832) (TSN 686662)
French Common Names: Petit-duc ŕ moustaches
Spanish Common Names: Tecolote Rítmico
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100787
Element Code: ABNSB01070
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Strigiformes Strigidae Megascops
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Otus trichopsis
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly treated as a subgenus within Otus (Marshall and King in Amadon and Bull 1988), but mitochondrial DNA and vocal differences with Old World species indicate that generic status is warranted (Konig et al. 1999).
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 27Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 27Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (05Jan1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (S3), New Mexico (S1B,S1N)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: RESIDENT: from southeastern Arizona, northeastern Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon south through mountains of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to northern Nicaragua (AOU 1983). Primarily at elevations of 4,000-6,000 ft (National Geographic Society 1983) (presumably this pertains to the U.S.).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: RESIDENT: from southeastern Arizona, northeastern Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon south through mountains of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to northern Nicaragua (AOU 1983). Primarily at elevations of 4,000-6,000 ft (National Geographic Society 1983) (presumably this pertains to the U.S.).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, NM

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NM Hidalgo (35023)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
15 Animas Valley (15040003)+, San Simon (15040006)+, San Bernardino Valley (15080302)+, Cloverdale (15080303)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Reproduction Comments: Eggs found in Arizona suggest laying in April. Clutch size is 3-4.
Ecology Comments: Territory size in pine-oak habitat is about 300 m in diameter. Home range of breeding pairs ranged from 1.9 to 5.0 (mean 3.3) linear hectares along permanent creek; this equivalent to 1525 to 1550 meters of creek (Gehlbach and Gehlbach 2000).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Dense oak and oak-pine woodlands. Subtropical and lower Temperate zones. Usually found at higher elevations where range overlaps western screech-owl (National Geographic Society 1983). Nests in a natural tree cavity or an abandoned woodpecker hole. Nest trees in Arizona include oak, walnut, sycamore, and juniper.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds mainly on insects (e.g., moths, mantises, grasshoppers, beetles); prey length size often about 15 mm (range 6-75 mm). Evidently captures flying insects in air, also captures prey on vegetation and on ground (Johnsgard 1988).
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Length: 18 centimeters
Weight: 92 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Small and Medium Owls

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Nest site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is not intended to delineate demographically independent populations or metapopulations (such units would be quite large) but rather serves to circumscribe breeding occurrences that are of practical size for conservation/management use.

Separation distance is larger than three times the diameter of an average home range for these volant species; based the diameter of larger home ranges of males, e.g. those of Northern Pygmy-Owls given below.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: post-fledging families used 9.3 to about 60 hectares until the young dispersed (Proudfoot and Johnson 2000).

Northern Pygmy-Owl: territory in Colorado estimated to be about 75 hectares (Rashid 1999, cited in Holt and Petersen 2000); home ranges of breeding males in Washington 170-230 hectares (A. Giese, pers. comm., cited in Holt and Petersen 2000); home ranges of males in Sweden averaged 231 hectares (Kullberg 1995).

Northern Saw-whet Owl: Two breeding males had home ranges of 142 and 159 hectares (Cannings 1987). Most breeding habitat probably supports a maximum of about 1 pair/square kilometer, often much less (Cannings 1993); singing males can be as close as about 250 meters apart (Swengel 1990).

Elf Owl: home ranges smaller, range 0.2-2.6, mean 1.0 hectares (Gamel 1997).

Flammulated Owl males had mean home ranges of about 14 hectares in Colorado (Linkhart 1984) and about 16 hectares in Oregon (during the incubation period; Goggans 1986). DNA data indicate very low differentiation among populations in different mountain ranges in New Mexico and Utah; evidently the species exhibits long-distance natal dispersal and frequent intermountain dispersal (Arsenault et al. 2005).

Whiskered Screech-Owls had home ranges about 1550 meters long, along permanent creek (Gehlbach and Gehlbach 2000).

Burrowing Owl: In Saskatchewan, the average home range was about 1.2 kilometers in diameter (Haug and Oliphant 1990).

Long-eared Owl: In Wyoming, breeding home range in riparian habitat varied from 34-106 hectares and averaged 51 hectares (Craighead and Craighead 1956).

Short-eared Owl: Breeding territories average 64 -74 hectares (Holt 1992, Clark 1975).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .6 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Conservatively based on an average home range of 27 hectares for a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl family (Proudfoot and Johnson 2000). A breeding male Northern Saw-whet Owl spent most of its active time in a core area of only 27 hectares (Cannings 1987).

Long-eared Owl: May use an IE of 0.8 km, which is the diameter of an average home range (Craighead and Craighead 1956).

Short-eared Owl: May use an IE of 0.9 km, which is based on an average breeding home range of 65 hectares.

Date: 26Feb2005
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Notes: Contains owls in the genera Otus, Glaucidium, Aegolius, Asio and Athene.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering individuals (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance larger than three times the diameter of an average home range for these volant species; based the diameter of larger home ranges of males, e.g. those of Northern Pygmy-Owls: in Washington 170-230 hectares (A. Giese, pers. comm., cited in Holt and Petersen 2000); in Sweden, averaged 231 hectares (Kullberg 1995).
Whiskered Screech-Owls had home ranges about 1550 meters long, along permanent creek (Gehlbach and Gehlbach 2000).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .6 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Conservatively based on a home range of 27 hectares; for example, a breeding male Northern Saw-whet Owl spent most of its active time in a 27-hectare core area (Cannings 1987).
Date: 16Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Roost
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring, nonbreeding, communal roosting at a given location; reliable observation of multiple individuals roosting in a distinct habitat patch in multiple years. To avoid creating EOs for ephemeral situations, there should be evidence of communal roosting over at least two different (though not necessarily consecutive) nonbreeding seasons.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary. Pertinent biologically based separation criteria do not exist.
Date: 25Oct2012
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 2003. Forty-fourth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 120(3):923-931.

  • Arsenault, D. P., P. B. Stacey, and G. A. Hoelzer. 2005. Mark-recapture and DNA fingerprinting data reveal high breeding-site fidelity, low natal philopatry, and low levels of population genetic differentiation in flammulated owls (Otus flammeolus). Auk 122:329-337.

  • BirdLife International. 2004b. Threatened birds of the world 2004. CD ROM. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

  • Cannings, R. J. 1987. The breeding biology of Northern Saw-whet Owls in southern British Columbia. Pages 193-198 IN Nero, R.W., R. J. Clark, R. J. Knapton, and H. Hamre, editors. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Cannings, R. J. 1993. Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus). No. 42 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. The birds of North America. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia; The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, DC. 20pp.

  • Clark, R. J., D. G. Smith, and L. H. Kelso. 1978. Working bibliography of owls of the world. National Wildlife Federation, Sci. & Tech. Ser. No. 1. 336 pp.

  • Eckert, Allan W. 1978. The Owls of North America. Weather-vane Books, New York. 278 pp.

  • Fisher, A.K. 1893. The hawks and owls of the United States in their relation to agriculture. Washington U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Bull. no. 6. 210 pp.

  • Gamel, C. M. 1997. Habitat selection, population density, and home range of the elf owl, Micrathene whitneyi, at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Texas. M.S. thesis, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas.

  • Gehlbach, F. R., and N. Y. Gehlbach. 2000. Whiskered Screech-Owl (Otus trichopsis). No. 507 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia. 24pp.

  • Goggans, R. 1986. Habitat use by flammulated owls in northeastern Oregon. Master's thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Holt, D. W., and J. L. Petersen. 2000. Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma). No. 494 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, eds. The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 24pp.

  • Howell, S. N. G., and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

  • Johnsgard, P. 1988. North American owls: biology and natural history. Smithsonian Inst. Press. 336 pp.

  • Kullberg, C. 1995. Strategy of the Pygmy Owl while hunting avian and mammalian prey. Ornis Fenn. 72:72-78.

  • Linkhart, B. D. 1984. Range, activity, and habitat use by nesting flammulated owls in a Colorado ponderosa pine forest. Masters thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

  • National Geographic Society (NGS). 1983. Field guide to the birds of North America. National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.

  • Nicholls, T. H., and M. R. Fuller. 1987. Owl telemetry techniques. Pages 294-301 IN R.W. Nero, R.J. Clark, R.J. Knapton, and R.H. Hamre, editors. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142.

  • Parker III, T. A., D. F. Stotz, and J. W. Fitzpatrick. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases for neotropical birds. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

  • Pendleton, B. A. G., B. A. Millsap, K. W. Cline, and D. M. Bird. 1987. Raptor management techniques manual. National Wildlife Federation, Sci. and Tech. Ser. No. 10. 420 pp.

  • Proudfoot, G. A., and R. R. Johnson. 2000. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum). No. 498 IN A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.), The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc. Philadelphia, PA. 20pp.

  • Rashid, S. 1999. Northern Pygmy Owls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado Field Ornithol. 33:94-101.

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Smith, D.G. 1987b. Owl census techniques. Pages 304-307 in R.W. Nero, R.J. Clark, R.J. Knapton, and R.H. Hamre, editors. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142.

  • Swengel, S. R. 1990. How to find Saw-whet Owls. Bird Watcher's Digest 12:68-75.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Voous, K. H., and A. Cameron. 1989. Owls of the Northern Hemisphere. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 320 pp.

  • Walker, L.W. 1974. The book of owls. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. New York. 255 pp.

  • Zook, J. L. 2002. Distribution maps of the birds of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Unpublished.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.