Backyard Birds

Anjouan Scops Owls (Otus capnodes)

The Anjouan Scops Owls (Otus capnodes) – also known as Comoro Scops Owls, Madagascar Scops-Owls or Smoky Scops Owls – are endemic to Anjouan Island (also known as Ndzuwani or Nzwani), which is part of the archipelago island nation of Comoros located in the Indian Ocean off the south-east coast of Africa.

This owl species was discovered in 1886, but many considered it to be extinct until it was rediscovered in June 1992.

It is suspected that less than 400 of these owls still exist and they are at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction. This species is, therefore, classified as Critically Endangered.


Anjouan Scops Owls are small owls that measure about 20 – 22 cm in length. There are two color forms — one with a dark ashy-brown plumage, and the other with a paler rufous-brown plumage. The pale grey facial disk is bordered black. The plumage is patterned with bars and streaks.

Calls / Vocalizations

Their calls are distinct, drawn-out whistles, usually repeated.

Alternate (Global) Names

Czech: výre?ek anjouanský … Danish: Anjouandværghornugle … Dutch: Anjouandwergooruil …
Estonian: tumepäll … Finnish: nzwaninpöllönen … French: Petit-duc d’Anjouan … German: Anjouaneule, Anjouan-Zwergohreule … Italian: Assiolo di Anjouan … Japanese: anjuanrukonohazuku … Norwegian: Anjouanugle … Polish: syczek krótkouchy … Russian: ?????????? ?????, ????? ?????????? … Slovak: výrik dennohlasý, výrik pískavý … Spanish: Autillo de Anjouan … Swedish: Anjouandvärguv

Other Web Resources

More Owl Information


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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