|Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-owl
Megascops watsonii usta
(aka Otus watsonii usta)
|Cristalino Lodge, Mato Grosso, Brazil
This lovely bird was singing away just outside the lodge buildings at half past midnight so, still in our pyjamas, we went out to photograph and record it.
The Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-owl is distributed from eastern Peru and northern Bolivian to the southern Amazon Basin in Brazil.
It was recognised as a seperate species by Heidrich et al. (1995) "Molecular phylogeny of South American screech owls of the Otus atricapillus complex inferred from nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial Cytochrome-b gene." Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 50c:294-302. This treatment is followed by Konig et al. and by Heimo Mikkola amongst others.
|However, this split is not recognised by Howard & Moore 2013 nor the American Ornithologists' Union who maintain it as a subspecies of Otus watsonii. See their comments.
It is found in forest usually fairly low down and it feeds mainly on insects.
There is an illustration in HBW, Volume 5, Page 178.