Barred Owl

Unspotted Saw-whet Owl

A Reference for North and Central American Owls

Unspotted Saw-whet inhabits the high elevation montane forest meadows and farmlands of Central America. Originally described from Costa Rica, today it is a difficult find. This is a very sought after species along its entire range from Chiapas in Southern Mexico to Western Panama. Thought to be resident, it is found mostly above 8,000 feet in elevation although records exist in Guatemala from as low as 4,600 feet. An unsociable species, the Unspotted Saw-whet Owl is mostly non-vocal except during a short breeding season. Closely related to the Northern Saw-whet Owl, it has been suggested that Unspotted Saw-whet Owl evolved after crossing the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico (the narrowest strip of land between the Pacific and Caribbean), subsequently became isolated and non-migratory.

Below you can find photos, sounds, description, and information on this poorly studied and rarely seen species of owl in Central America.

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