Eurasian Scops Owl - Otus scops
This is the smallest of the owls and very difficult to observe. It makes its presence known by a nocturnal song which sounds like that of a Midwife toad. It makes it a rule to avoid predators - its cryptic plumage which is a perfect imitation of a tree trunk and its mimetic behaviour enable it to camouflage itself. If discovered, the Eurasian Scops Owl demonstrates remarkable strength in defending itself and violently attacks intruders. The smallest of the owls is a great migratory bird, leaving its territory in August to winter in the south of Spain, Morocco and Africa, only returning in April.
First chick hatched at Le Rocher des Aigles : 2003
CLASS : Aves
ORDER : Strigiformes
FAMILY : Strigidae
WINGSPAN : 53-64 cm
WEIGHT : 60-135 g
CLUTCH SIZE : 3-4 eggs
INCUBATION : 25 days
LIFE EXPECTANCY : 10 years in captivity
DIET : insects, invertebrates
NATURAL HABITAT : it lives in warm regions in open landscapes, parks, orchards, groves, wooded areas and locally in open conifer forests. During the winter in Africa, it mainly lives in wooded savannahs.
RANGE : Mediterranean Europe, Africa and Asia.
Conservation status info
LC : Least Concern
The Eurasian Scops Owl population is falling and the observed declines are due to the transformation of its habitat, intensive farming, the use of pesticides which lead to the disappearance of insects and therefore dwindling food resources, the destruction of old trees as well as the collection of its chicks and collisions with vehicles.