Santa Marta Screech-Owl

Megascops gilesi
Population status:
Body length:
data deficient
data deficient
data deficient
Santa Marta Screech-Owl


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Did You Know?

  • The Santa Marta Screech-Owl was only recently recognized and described as a new species!
  • Very little is known about the biology or behavior of this species

Other Owls

How The Peregrine Fund is Helping

Though The Peregrine Fund does not work directly with Santa Marta Screech-Owls, our efforts in scientific research, habitat conservation, education, and community development help conserve birds of prey around the world. We also supply literature to researchers from our avian research library, which helps scientists around the world gather and share important information on raptor conservation. Our work with the Neotropical Raptor Network helps conserve raptors by fostering collaboration and communication among raptor enthusiasts in the region. And, finally, our support of the Global Raptor Information Network gives raptor researchers tools to more efficiently conduct their own studies while contributing to a global program. It also provides citizen scientists a way to participate in raptor science and conservation.

Where They Live

As far as scientists know, this lovely owl is found only n the area know as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in northern Colombia. It appears to live only in humid forests at somewhat higher elevations (1,800-2,500 meters).  

Why They Need our Help

The Santa Marta Screech-Owl is categorized as Vulnerable. This means its population is at risk. Its limited range, and the fact that the Santa Marta range has suffered extensive deforestation and habitat degradation pose a threat to this species' survival in the long-term.

What They Eat

Though virtually nothing is know about the diet and hunting habits of this owl, from the photo above, we know that it feed on amphibians, at least occasionally!

Nests, Eggs, and Young

Nothing is known about the breeding biology or habits of this species!

Santa Marta Screech-Owl and the World Center for Birds of Prey

The World Center for Birds of Prey offers fun ways to learn about raptors. Interactive activities, tours, interesting videos and a children's room with activities from coloring sheets to quizzes to costumes await you. At our visitor center, you can see live owls up close - such as a Verreaux' Eagle-Owl or a Western Screech-Owl, and learn about the wonderful and interesting adaptations they have in order to survive in their respective habitats. There is also a touch table with owl feathers and other natural objects available for exploration. Take a stroll along a short nature trail and look for Barn Owls or even a Northern Saw-whet Owl perched in the trees. 


Kirwan, G. M. (2020). Santa Marta Screech-Owl (Megascops gilesi), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.