Geographic Variation in Southwestern U.S. and Mexican Spotted Owls, with Description of a New Subspecies
Populations of the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) from the southern Rocky Mountains to central Mexico have generally been referred to the subspecies S. o. lucida (Nelson 1903), or the Mexican Spotted Owl. However, my recent examination of specimens reveals three subspecies occurring in this region, including this first report of a population from the State of Mexico described here as new. Birds from the southwestern US (and presumably adjacent Chihuahua and Sonora) are assignable to S. o. huachucae Swarth (1910), which may be called the Southwestern Spotted Owl. The name lucida should be restricted to Mexican populations now confirmed in the states of Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacán.