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Scops OWLS

Order Strigiformes Family Strigidae


Owls are found on all continents except Antarctica. Owls are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae. They range in size from 13-70 cm. Owls do not construct nests, but rather look for a sheltered nesting site or an abandoned nest in trees, underground burrows, or in buildings, barns and caves.

Owls are solitary and nocturnal. They hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds though a few species specialize in hunting fish. Most hunt for prey only in the darkness. Much of the owls' hunting strategy depends on stealth and surprise. They are very quiet in flight plus they have dull colors. Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in either direction. The female is usually larger than the male.


Owl species can be found on these web pages:
New World Owls, Old World Owls, Barn Owls, Eagle-Owls, Pygmy-Owls, Scops-Owls


Genus Otus
Otus owls are small and agile. They usually are have brown or gray upperparts and lighter underparts. Some species have grayish-brown or reddish-brown morphs. The are mainly Old World owls.

Owl, African Scops-  Otus senegalensis  Found: Africa 
The African Scops-Owl has gray or brown plumage. The plumage is finely streaked and vermiculated, resembling tree back and the owl is thus well camouflaged. They have small ear tufts.
Similar to: Eurasian Scops-Owl. Eurasian Scops-Owl is slightlly larger than African Scops-Owl . African Scops-Owl is more vocal.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes  2) Johann Snyman  3) Bernard Dupont


Owl, Andaman Scops-  Otus balli  Found: Andaman Islands, India
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Balaji Venkatesh


Owl,_Anjouan_Scops-   Otus capnodes  Found: Comoro Islands - east Afrcian coast
Image by: 1, 2) Paul_van_Giersbergen


Owl,_Arabian_Scops-   Otus pamelae  Found: Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen
Image by: 1) Tommy_Pedersen


Owl,_Biak_Scops-   Otus beccarii  Found: east of New Guinea
The Biak Scops-Owl has densely barred brown upperparts; paler brown or rich rufous underparts with fine barring.
Image by: 1) del_hoyo


Owl, Collared Scops-  Otus lettia  Found: south Asia
The Collared Scops-Owl has gray or brown plumage; pale gray or brown collar; large head and ear tufts;
Image by: 1) The Belurs, 2) HYLA 2009  3) Koshy Koshy


Owl,_Comoro_Scops-  also  Karthals Scops-Owl  Otus pauliani  Found: Comoro Islands off east coast Africa
Image by: 1) Markus_Lagerqvist


Owl,_Enggano_Scops-   Otus enganensis  Found: Enggano Island, Indonesia
Image by: 1) Bram_Demeulemeester


Owl,_European_Scops-  also  Eurasian Scops-Owl  Otus scops  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Scops-Owl has gray-brown or rufous-brown morphs. The plumage is finely streaked and vermiculated, resembling tree back and the owl is thus well camouflaged. It has medium sized ear tufts.
Similar to: African Scops-Owl. Eurasian Scops-Owl is slightlly larger than African Scops-Owl . African Scops-Owl is more vocal.
Image by: 1) Edgar_Barany_C 2) Alexandre_Roux


Owl, Everett's Scops-  Otus everetti  Found: Philippines
Image by: 1) pinay06  2) Bram Demeulemeester


Owl, Flammulated  Otus flammeolus   Found: mountain pine forests of western North America
Similar to: Western Screech-Owl. Western Screeh-Owl has yellow eyes, Flammulated Owl does not. This might not really belong in Otus.
Image by: 1) Dave Menke, USFWS   2)   USGS  3) Sugarbear96  4) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico
1) Fledgling  2) Gray phase  3, 4) Red Phase


Owl,_Flores_Scops-   Otus alfredi  Found: Flores, Indonesia
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Peter_Ericsson


Owl, Giant Scops-  Otus gurneyi  Found: Philippines
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) Shankar S


Owl,_Indian_Scops-   Otus bakkamoena  Found: southern Asia
The Indain Scops-Owl has brown or gray upperparts with faint buff spotting; buff underparts with some streaking.
Image by: 1) Shankar  2) Koshy_Koshy


Owl,_Japanese_Scops-   Otus semitorques  Found: China, Japan, Korea, Russia
Image by: 1) Nial_Moores


Owl,_Javan_Scops-   Otus angelinae  Found: Java (Indonesia)
Image by: 1) James_Eaton


Owl,_Luzon_Scops-   Otus longicornis  Found: Luzon of Philippines
Image by: 1) Philippine_Postal_Corporation  2) Bram_Demeulemeester


Owl, Madagascar Scops-  Rainforest Scops-Owl  Otus rutilus  Found: Madagascar
Similar to: Torotoroka Scops-Owl. The Madagascar Scops-Owl likes moist areas; the Torotoroka Scops-Owl likes drier areas.
Image by: 1) Bernard Dupont   2, 3) Dick Daniels - Kirindy Forest, Madagascar


Owl,_Mantanani_Scops-   Otus mantananensis  Found: small islands between Borneo and the Philippines.
The Mantanani Scop-Owl has brown upperparts; oaler underparts; buff facial disk with narrow dark border.
Image by: 1, 2) Eric_Gropp


Owl,_Mayotte_Scops-   Otus mayottensis  Found: Mayotte Island in the Comoros Archipelago, northwest of Madagascar
Image by: 1) Markus_Lagerqvist  2) Alan_Van_Norman


Owl,_Mentawai_Scops-   Otus mentawi  Found: islands of Mentawai, off west Sumatra, Indonesia
Image by: 1) Filip_Verbelen


Owl,_Mindanao_Scops-   Otus mirus  Found: Mindanao, Philippines
Image by: 1) Wim_Heylen  2) Leif_Gabrielsen


Owl,_Mindoro_Scops-   Otus mindorensis  Found: Mindoro, Philippines
Image by: 1) Ron_Hutchinson


Owl,_Moheli_Scops-   Otus moheliensis  Found: island of Moheli of the Comoro Islands - off east coast Africa
Image by: 1) Simon Fournier


Owl, Moluccan Scops-  Otus magicus  Found: Indonesia
Similar to: Sulawesi Scops-Owl. Sulawesi Scops-Owl has more white on underparts than the Moluccan Scops-Owl.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Francesco Veronesi


Owl, Mountain Scops-  Otus spilocephalus  Found: Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia
The Mountain Scops-Owl has dark brown upperparts; light spots on scapulars (shoulder); buffy facial disk; light buffy underparts; yellow eyes.
Image by: 1, 2) Hiyashi Haka - Taiwan  3, 4) Alex White - Taiwan 


Owl,_Negros_Scops-   Otus nigrorum  Found: island of Negros (Philippines)
Image by: 1) characters  2) Pete_Morris


Owl,_Nicobar_Scops-   Otus alius  Found: Nicobar Islands of India
Image by: 1) Bandana_Arora_Aul  2) Jainy_Kuriakose
2) Rufous morph


Owl,_Oriental_Scops-   Otus sunia  Found: south Asia
The Oriental Scops-Owl has gray and rufous morphs; white scapular stripe.
Image by: 1) Hiyashi_Haka  2) gailhampshire


Owl,_Palawan_Scops-   Otus fuliginosus  Found: Philippines
Image by: 1) Pete_Morris  2) Yann_Muzika


Owl,_Pallid_Scops-  also  Striated Scops-Owl  Otus brucei  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Scops  2)  Sumeet_Moghe   3) Sergey_Yeliseev



Owl,_Pemba_Scops-   Otus pembaensis  Found: Tanzania
Image by: 1) Jacques_Erard


Owl, Philippine Scops-  Otus megalotis  Found: Philippine Islands
Image by: 1) Zach Feinberg  2) Doing Big Year - Negros, Philippines
2) Subspecies Otus Negrium


Owl, Rajah Scops-  Otus brookii  Found: Indonesia
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Lip Kee 
2) Juvenile


Owl,_Reddish_Scops-   Otus rufescens  Found: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia
Image by: 1) Biodiversity_Heritage_Library  2) Wong_Tsu_Shi - Malaysia  3) Janos_Oloh - Indonesia  4) Con_Foley - Malaysia


Owl,_Rinjani_Scops-
   Otus jolandae  Found: Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia and neighbouring Gili islands.
Image by: 1) Sangster_King  2) Filip_Verbelen


Owl,_Ryukyu_Scops-   Otus elegans  Found: Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan and other islands
The Ryukyu Scops-Owl has mainly rufous-brown plumage; brown face disk; cinnamon facial ruff; olive-gray bill; yellow eyes.
Image by: 1) characters  2) Pete_Morris


Owl, Sandy Scops-  Otus icterorhynchus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Kerulemans


Owl,_Sangihe_Scops-   Otus collari  Found: Sangihe Islands of Indonesia
Image by: 1) Hanom_Bashari


Owl,_Sao_Tome_Scops-   Otus hartlaubi  Found: São Tomé Island off west equatorial Africa
The Sao Tome Scops-Owl is the only owl on the island other than the Barn Owl.
Image by: 1) Nik_Borrow


Owl,_Serendib_Scops-   Otus thilohoffmanni  Found: Sri Lanka
The Serendib Scops-Owl has reddish-brown upperparts; paler underparts; fine black spots all over.  Unlike the other two scops owls on Sri Lanka, it does not have ear tufts and its facial disc is only weakly defined.
Image by: 1) Peter_Wachtershauser  2) David_Cook


Owl, Seychelles Scops-   Otus insularis  Found: Seychelles islands which is northeast of Madagascar
The Seychelles Scops-Owl has rufous-brown upperparts; rufous face; rufous underparts with dark streaks; yellow eyes.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans 


Owl,_Simeulue_Scops-   Otus umbra  Found: the island of Simeulue, Indonesia
Image by: 1) Bram_Demeulemeester


Owl,_Socotra_Scops-   Otus socotranus  Found: island of Socotra - part of Yemen
Image by: 1) Henrik_Gronvold


Owl, Sokoke Scops-  Otus ireneae  Found: Kenya, Tanzania
The Sokoke Scops-Owl has rufous-brown or gray plumage. It is the smallest of the scops owls.
Image by: 1) Steve Garvie - Kenya  2) Pierangelo Cassinari - Kenya


Owl, Sulawesi Scops-  Otus manadensis  Found: Indonesia
Similar to: Moluccan Scops-Owl. Sulawesi Scops-Owl has more white on underparts than the Moluccan Scops-Owl.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Francesco Veronesi


Owl, Sunda Scops-  Otus lempiji  Found: Malay Peninsula of southeast Asia
The Sunda Scops-Owl has brown specked with white and black on the upperparts.
Image by: 1) Tim_Ellis  2) budak 


Owl, Torotoroka Scops-  Otus madagascariensis  Found: Madagascar zz
Similar to: Madagascar Scops-Owl. The Madagascar Scops-Owl likes moist areas; the Torotoroka Scops-Owl likes drier areas.
Image by: 1) Charles_Sharp 2) David Cook


Owl, Wallace's Scops- Otus silvicola  Found: Indonesia
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Nolafryar


Owl, White-fronted Scops-  Otus sagittatus  Found: southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Thailand  2) Jerry Oldenettel - Thailand






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