Whiskered Screech Owl - Otus trichopsis
Description: 6 1/2-8" (17-20 cm). Almost identical to Western Screech-Owl, but with longer bristles at base of bill, larger white spots on upperparts, and heavier streaking on breast. Best identified by voice.
Habitat: Pine-oak woods, oaks, and sycamores.
Nesting: 3 or 4 white spherical eggs in a deep tree cavity or a flicker hole.
Range: Resident in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Also in Central America.
Voice: A series of low whistles in a distinctive Morse code-like pattern: hoo-hoo hooo hoo, hoo-hoo hooo hoo, and so on. Also a rapid hoohoohoohoo.
Discussion: This common owl of the oak canyons of southeastern Arizona is virtually indistinguishable from the Western Screech-Owl, except at night when its distinctive voice identifies it. Birders in the Tucson area make night trips to find this and many other species of owls in the nearby canyons and mountains. The owls respond readily to imitations or recordings of their calls, often coming close enough to be seen with a spotlight.