Whooooo goes there? Two new screech owl species in Brazil are who!

You might think that scientists have found every owl on the planet, but nope! Even well-known groups of animals like owls have new discoveries to be made.

The newly described Alagoas screech owl (Megascops alagoensis) from Brazil’s Atlantic forest. Image by Gustavo Malacco.
The newly described Xingu screech owl (Megascops stangiae). Image by Kleiton Silva.

The Alagoas screech owl (top photo) lives in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil, and the Xingu screech owl (bottom photo) lives along the Xingu River in the Amazon rainforest.

The team of scientists describing these new owls used several different ways to study them including looking at genetic differences, the calls that they make, and their body sizes.

Both owls are tiny (5-6 inches/13-15 cm long). The Alagoas screech owl is thought to be critically endangered.

For more details, check out the full article on mongabay.com:



Dantas, S. M., Weckstein, J. D., Bates, J., Oliveira, J. N., Catanach, T. A., & Aleixo, A. (2021). Multi-character taxonomic review, systematics, and biogeography of the black-capped/tawny-bellied screech owl (Megascops atricapilla-M. watsonii) complex (Aves: Strigidae). Zootaxa4949(3), 401-444. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4949.3.1