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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation
Thursday 18th December, 2014

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Common Scops Owl
Otus scops
Common Scops Owl - Otus scops
Common Scops Owl - Otus scops
As of February 2005.
Description Small, eared owl with yellow eyes. Its plumage is a vermiculated grey-buff (gray-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.
Status No additional information.
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.
O.s.scops W. S. and SE. Europe also locally in C & E Europe, North Africa.
O.s.cycladum Greece
O.s.mallorcae Balearic Islands
O.s.cyprius Cyprus, Asia Minor
O.s.turanicus Turkmenistan to W Pakistan
O.s.pulchellus Caucasus to Tien Shan
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The World Owl Trust is a member of BIAZA
The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.
The World Owl Trust is a member of EAZA

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