More About The Scops Owl

© Karl Svendsen

Description: Small, eared owl with yellow eyes. Its plumage is a vermiculated grey-buff, intricately marked with black provides excellent camouflage against tree bark when roosting.

Size: 16-21cm, 60-135g

Range: Southern Europe, parts of North Africa, Asia Minor east to Central Asia. Many populations migratory, moving to Africa south of Sahara in winter.

Habitat: Open or semi-open woodland, parks, plantations etc. Winters on savannah.

Food: Mainly insects and other invertebrates but also small lizards, frogs and small mammals.

Breeding: 2-6 eggs laid from March-August, normally in tree cavity. Eggs are incubated for 25 days, young leave the nest by about 4 weeks and are independent by a week later.

Call: A low, short, piping whistle repeated at 2-3 second intervals.

Comments: This owl is very nocturnal, and rarely seen, but its wonderful piping call can readily be heard ringing out from Mediterranean olive groves in early summer.

Races: Originally formed superspecies with O. sunia and O. senegalensis but is vocally and genetically distinct. Race cycladum may be included in nominate form.

Information from World Owl Trust

Scops Owl

These Owls are also known simply as White-faced Owls. Because of several distinctions from other Scops Owls, some specialists give this Owl ...more
Kruger National Park - South African Safari