Alternative names: Commmon Scops-Owl; European Scops-Owl
- Otus scops
16–20 cm (6¼-7¾ in)
Small, eared owl with yellow eyes.
Plumage is a grey-buff intricately marked with black, which provides excellent camouflage against tree bark when roosting.
Young birds are more strongly vermiculated than adults.
Southern Europe, parts of North Africa, Asia Minor east to Central Asia. Many populations migratory, moving to Africa south of Sahara in winter.
Originally formed superspecies with Oriental Scops Owl and African Scops Owl but is vocally and genetically distinct. Cyprus Scops Owl was recently split from Eurasian Scops Owl.
Five subspecies are recognized:
- O. s. scops:
- France and Mediterranean islands to Volga River, northern Greece and Transcaucasia
- O. s. pulchellus:
- Volga River to Lake Baikal and south to Altai and Tien Shan Mountains
- O. s. mallorcae:
- Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands, northern Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia
- O. s. cycladum:
- O. s. turanicus:
Subspecies cycladum may be included in nominate form.
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.
Mainly insects and other invertebrates but also small lizards, frogs and small mammals.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2016. IOC World Bird Names (version 6.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Eurasian Scops Owl. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 6 June 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Eurasian_Scops_Owl
GSearch checked for 2020 platform.