BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book

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  4) Nik_Borrow - Ethiopia

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
The Anjouan scops owl occurs in gray and rufous morphs and has very small ear tufts compared to other scops owls. The gray form is sooty grey with fine buff bars on the head and neck, a dark brown face with fine streaks and brown underparts with very fine brown streaks and vermiculations. The rufous form is browner and the marking contrast more with the plumage.
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
The Karthala scops owl lacks ear tufts and come in two color forms, a light morph and a dark morph. The light morph has dark grayish-brown upperparts with fine barring and pale spots along the scapulars; reddish-buff f with a dense pattern of fine barring on the flight feathers and tail. The dark morph has mainly dark chocolate brown plumage.
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  3) Bohus_Cícel

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
The Giant Scops-Owl has reddish-brown upperparts with black streaks; reddish-brown facial disk with narrow black edge; white streaks above eyes with prominent ear tufts.
Image by: 1)  Philippine_Post  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  3) Ian_Banner

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
The Mayotte Scops-Owl has brown upperparts with faint  light spots; paler brown underparts.
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
The Moheli Scops-Owl has two morphs. The rufous morph has rufous-brown plumage; weakly marked with dark streaks and bars. The brown morph has a darker brown plumage; boldy marked with streaks and vermiculations.
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) Philippine_Post  2) characters  3) 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
The Pemba Scops-Owl has two morphs. Rufous morph has bright rich rufous plumage. Brown morph has pale rufous-brown plumage.
Image by: 1) Jacques_Erard  2) Munir_Virani

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   3) Seshadri_KS - Sumatra
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

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

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
The Sandy Scops-Owl has mainly pale rufous-brown plumage; yellow bill, eyes; pale shoulder stripe.
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
The Socotraq Scops-Owl has sandy-gray upperparts; paler underparts with darker shaft streaks and fine dark barring.
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   3) AS_Kono

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  3) Zak_Pohlen

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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