Backyard Birds

Western Screech Owls: Subspecies Ranges

Subspecies and Ranges

  • Kennicott’s Screech Owl, Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii kennicottii – Elliot, 1867)
    • Range: Alaska, Coastal western Canada, British Columbia, western United States,, Washington, Oregon, northern California. Range overlaps with ssp. bendirei in coastal northwestern California.
  • Western Screech OwlMegascops kennicottii suttoni (R. T. Moore, 1941)
    • Range: North Mexico to the Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. Range overlaps with ssp aikeni in Davis, Peloncillo and Chiricahua Mountains.
    Aiken’s Screech Owl, Arizona Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii aikeni – Brewster, 1891)
    • Range: Southwestern United States, western Texas, north and west to Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
  • Brewster’s Screech-Owl, California Screech Owl,(Megascops kennicottii bendirei – Brewster, 1882)
    • Found in western United States, along the Pacific coast from south-central Oregon south to coastal north Baja; as well as interior northwestern California, south on western side of the Sierra Nevada to San Diego. Northwestern Mexico.
  • Bancroft’s Screech Owl(Megascops kennicottii cardonensis – Huey, 1926)
    • Range: Northern Baja and northwestern Mexico
  • MacFarlane’s Screech Owl(Megascops kennicottii macfarlanei – Brewster, 1891)
    • Found in the Great Basin region east of Cascade Range from southern British Columbia, eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, western Montana. Range meets with ssp aikeni in northern Nevada and northeastern California
  • Chihuahua Screech Owl, Vinaceous Screech Owl, Western Screech Owl(Megascops kennicottii vinaceus – Brewster, 1888)
    • Found in Mexico, from southern Sonora and western Chihuahua to northern Sinaloa
  • Xantus’s Screech Owl(Megascops kennicottii xantusi – Brewster, 1902)
    • Range: Baja California and northwestern Mexico
  • Megascops kennicottii yumanensis (A. H. Miller and L. Miller, 1951)
    • Recently taxon found in southwestern United States; in the deserts of the lower Colorado River Valley from southeastern California, western Arizona, northwestern Mexico and northeastern Baja.

More Owl Information


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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