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Eurasian Scops Owl

From Opus

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;Otus scops ;Otus scops
-[[Image:Common_Scops_Owl.jpg|thumb|350px|right|Photo by JJM]]+[[Image:Common_Scops_Owl.jpg|thumb|550px|right|Photo by JJM <p>Photographed in Lesvos]]
-==Description==+ 
-Location: Lesvos+
==Identification== ==Identification==
-Breeds over much of Iberia and southern France, parts of Central France but now absent from most of the north, throughout Italy, the Balkans and much of Turkey. Also breeds in Austria, Slovakia and north Hungary, the Ukraine and in Russia north to about 58�N and east to the Urals and Caspian. In the Mediterranean found on all major islands and also scattered parts of the Middle East and in Morocco, coastal Algeria and Tunisia in North-West Africa. +Small, eared owl with yellow eyes. Its plumage is a grey-buff (gray-buff), intricately marked with black provides excellent camouflage against tree bark when roosting.
 +==Distribution==
 +Southern Europe, parts of North Africa, Asia Minor east to Central Asia. Many populations migratory, moving to Africa south of Sahara in winter.
-Summer visitor to most of range but partially resident in southern Spain and the Balearics, southern Sardinia, the southern tip of Italy and Sicily, southern Greece, Crete and fully resident on Cyprus. Some winter in North Africa. Formerly more widespread in Europe particular at northern edge of range. Migrants leave breeding areas September-October and return February-April. +==Taxonomy==
 +Originally formed superspecies with O. sunia and O. senegalensis but is vocally and genetically distinct. Race cycladum may be included in nominate form.
 +==Habitat==.
 +Open or semi-open woodland, parks, plantations etc. Winters on savannah. Usually not conifers except in parts of Russian range. Nests in tree-holes and in cavities in rocks and walls.
-Vagrants recorded north to Iceland and Faroes, British Isles, Scandinavia and most north European countries, also recorded on Madeira and Canary Islands. There has been a sharp decline in the number of vagrants reaching Britain as the normal range has contracted in Europe. Of the more than 90 British records only around thirty have been in recent years and most of these in southern England in April-June. However this species is sometimes recorded north to Orkney and Shetland and in the past has been recorded west to Ireland. In March 2002 one was present at the well-known rarity haunt of Porthgwarra in Cornwall. +==Behaviour==
 +Mainly insects and other invertebrates but also small lizards, frogs and small mammals.
-Subspecies Six races occur in the Region differing very slightly in size and also intensity of markings, they vary somewhat in ground colour but this is rather less constant. Nominate scops occurs across most of Southern Europe, mallorcae from Iberia, Balearics and probably North-West Africa is smaller with heavier markings, cycladum from southern Greece the Greek Is and southern Turkey has broader streaks and more distinct white spotting above and the Cypriot race cyprius is dark and more heavily marked still with bolder white spots above. The remaining races are very close to the nominate, pulchellus from the Volga eastwards with narrower streaks and more extensive white spots above and turanicus from Iraq similar but paler grey below.  
-Habitat Found in dry, sunny areas of open woodland, olive groves and almond plantations, vineyards, parks and gardens. Usually not conifers except in parts of Russian range. Nests in tree-holes and in cavities in rocks and walls. 
==Bird Song== ==Bird Song==
<flashmp3>Otus scops (song).mp3</flashmp3><br /> <flashmp3>Otus scops (song).mp3</flashmp3><br />

Revision as of 16:37, 9 July 2007

Otus scops
Photo by JJM Photographed in Lesvos
Photo by JJM

Photographed in Lesvos

Contents

Identification

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

Distribution

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

Taxonomy

Originally formed superspecies with O. sunia and O. senegalensis but is vocally and genetically distinct. Race cycladum may be included in nominate form. ==Habitat==. Open or semi-open woodland, parks, plantations etc. Winters on savannah. Usually not conifers except in parts of Russian range. Nests in tree-holes and in cavities in rocks and walls.

Behaviour

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



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