The Bare-shanked Screech-Owl (Otus clarkii) is a fairly large mountain screech-owl found from Costa Rica to north-western and Colombia. It is rich brown in colour and has short ear tufts. Its soft call could be heard almost nightly here at my house in San Antonio until recent years. A pair roosted during the day in a nearby higuerón tree that fell several years ago in a storm.
A strange incident occurred this week at Adrian Alvarez’s workshop up at the top end of the village. An owl of this species roosted for several days at the back of the car repair shop and actually allowed the amused, and bemused, mechanics to approach and touch it. Unruffled! Of course, I do not advocate trying to touch birds in the wild, but in defence of the workers it must be said that even though they may be to some degree environmentally unaware, at least they did not reach for their shotguns! The first owl I ever held in my hands was an injured Barn Owl in southern France, but the locals preferred to kill it rather than attempt rehabilitation.
I am shortly to receive a photo of the mechanics’ Bare-shanked Screech-Owl, but in the meantime the following blurry archive photo above, also taken here in San Antonio, will have to do.