Striginae, Tribe Otini
Strix scops Linnaeus, 1758 Italy. Six subspecies are recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: European scops-owl, common scops-owl; French: Petit- duc scops; German: Zwergohreule; Spanish: Autillo Europeo.
6.3–7.9 in (16–20 cm); 2.1–4.8 oz (60–135 g). Both gray-brown and rufous-brown color phases occur. Head features a gray facial disc, darker around the yellow eyes, and small ear tufts. Upperparts are gray-brown to rufous-brown with dark streaks, bars, and lines. Underparts are lighter brown to buffish white with dark streaks, bars, and lines. Buffish white leg feathers and gray feet.
France, and all Mediterranean countries to northern Turkey; Volga River east and to Lower Baikal, Altai and Tien Shan; Iberia, Balearic Islands and North Africa; southern Asia Minor, Jordan and Israel and onto northwest Pakistan.
Prefers open, rather than dense, woodland, including woodland parks in towns, plantations, and scrubland.
Northern birds are mostly migratory, while the southern birds are more sedentary. Migratory birds travel to Africa to winter. This owl is largely nocturnal, but occasionally is active during the day.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Mainly insectivorous; crickets and grasshoppers form much of its diet. Prey is taken by a short pounce from a perch or sometimes these owls will run after prey on the ground.
Nests in cavities, using tree cavities or holes in walls and old buildings. Lays two to six eggs. Incubation is generally 24–25 days. Young fledge at about 30 days and are cared for by their parents for about five weeks.
Not globally threatened, or considered rare. Locally common in parts of its range.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved