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PUERTO RICAN SCREECH OWL } Megascops nudipes

RANGE: Puerto Rico, Isla de Vieques, Isla de Culebra, and adjacent Virgin Islands

STATUS: The Puerto Rican screech owl is Common in Puerto Rico and Critically Endangered in the Virgin Islands. NatureServe ranks it as Vulnerable.

THREATS: Egg predation by pearly-eyed thrashers

The tiny Puerto Rican screech owl hides out in dense, woodland thickets and caves during the day and hunts and forages by night, eating mainly insects and occasionally small mammals. Like many other owls, Puerto Rican screeches love tree hollows for nesting, but they will also roost in cliff crevices. They live in Puerto Rico, Isla de Vieques, Isla de Culebra, and the nearby Virgin Islands. Although their global population is believed to be large, and they are common in at least parts of their range, there is evidence of a global population decline. The main cause for concern is egg predation by pearly-eyed thrashers, another Puerto Rican bird species.

Photo © Mark Oberle