Balsas Screech-owl

Did you know that some species of birds of prey can be trained to compete in the falconry field? Although falcons or eagles are generally more popular, the fact is that the tecolote is also a safe bet, like the Balsas Screech-owl.

Which way do they live?

It is known by the common name of “tecolote del Balsas” or “autillo del Balsas”, and by the scientific name of “Megacops seductus“. It is a species belonging to the genus megascops in the family of strigidae. It is endemic to Mexico.

Megacops seductus

When looking for a home, he prefers to do so in dry and degraded forests. However, due to the loss of its habitat, it is now in a situation of “vulnerable” species according to the IUCT.

What does it look like?

It is a fairly large bird, measuring between 24-27 cm, and can weigh up to 180 grams. There is no sexual dimorphism, although according to experts the female is a little larger than the male.

It has a facial disc with brown feathers that feel softly, with the eye area covered with light feathers. Under the beak, in the area of the chin and neck, has the presence of white feathers. In the upper part of the head it has brown feathers, as well as in the tufts that give it the shape of ears.

Its chest and underparts are covered with white feathers with the presence of grey feathers that give it a mottled effect. The wings are brown in colour, with the tips lighter in colour, giving the impression of forming layers. On his back he has white feathers on both sides.

If it is in danger, can it be kept as a pet?

It is true that this species, due to the destruction its habitat is suffering, has become vulnerable. However, it is so appreciated in the world of falconry, and even in poultry farming as a pet bird, by the residents of the area, that there are many breeders who are dedicated to the reproduction of this species in captivity. Thanks to this, everyone who wants to can have a pet of the Balsas Screech-owl as a pet bird to train him in the world of falconry.

balsas owl

Although it is known to be an endangered species, there is very little information on this species. You hardly know what his life is like in the wild. It has nocturnal hunting habits, preferring to eat the small mammals than to hunt by throwing itself at them from the branches. Preferably he likes rodents better, but he can also eat a few insects.

On its reproduction is what less information exists. It is estimated that the female may lay four eggs, with both parents participating in the incubation. When the chicks are born, both parents feed the young until they are able to fend for themselves.

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