European Scops Owl (Otus scops)

The European Scops Owls (Otus scops), also known as the Eurasian Scops Owls or just Scops Owls, are small owls

Distribution / Range

These migratory owls breed in southern Europe eastwards into western and central Asia; and travel south to southernmost Europe and sub-Saharan Africa for the winter.

Like other owls, they are nocturnal (active at night).


European Scops Owls measure 19 – 21 cm in length and have a wingspan of 47 – 54 cm.

The Scops Owls perch upright. They have small ear tufts and a mostly grey-brown plumage, with paler faces, underparts and shoulder lines.

Flight: They have a strong direct flight on long narrow wings.

Calls / Vocalizations

Their calls are described as deep whistles, similar to the call of the Midwife Toad.

European Scops Owls

Diet / Feeding

They feed on small prey, such as insects and other invertebrates (= animals without internal skeleton, such as larvae, insects, earthworms, millipedes, snails, spiders).

Breeding / Nesting

European Scops Owls typically breed in open woodland, parks and gardens, nesting in tree cavities. The average clutch consists of 3 – 6 eggs.

fledgling Eurasian Scops-owl

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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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