Backyard Birds

Palawan Scops Owls

The Palawan Scops Owls (Otus fuliginosus) are rare owls that occur naturally in southwestern Philippines – specifically on Palawan Island and adjacent islands of Alabagin and Balabac, with an unconfirmed report from Calauit.

On the island of Palawan, populations have been recorded in Kinalaykayan and Dicabaitot, Saint Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, Cleopatra’s Needle, Buenavista, Iwahig Penal Colony, vicinity of Puerto Princesa, Quezon at Tabon, Singnapan at Kabasakan, Pinikpikan and Tining-luan, Taguso, Mount Mantalingajan at Pinigisan and Tigwayan, Batarasa.

These owls are believed to be sedentary and are mostly found in lowland forests, but are believed to be able to adapt to human-modified habitats, as long as trees are present.

Their numbers are declining due to conversion of their forest habitats for agricultural purposes and residential expansions. Therefore, this species is classified as “Near Threatened.”



The Palawan Scops Owls are relatively small, measuring 7.5 – 7.8 inches (19 – 20 cm) in length (including the tail).

The upper plumage is dark red-brown with black wave patterns. The facial disk is light rufous. There is a pale collar on the back of the neck, dark below with buff spotting.

The bill is horn-colored and the feet greyish-yellow. Their eyes (irises) are orange-brown.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Výrecek palawanský, výre?ek palawanský … Danish: Palawandværghornugle … Dutch: Palawandwergooruil, Palawan-dwergooruil … Estonian: palawani päll … Finnish: Palawaninpöllönen … French: Petit-duc de Palawan … German: Palawaneule, Palawan-Halsbandeule, Palawan-Zwergohreule … Italian: Assiolo di Palawan … Japanese: parawanookonohazuku … Norwegian: Palawanugle … Polish: syczek palawanski, syczek palawa?ski … Russian: ??????????? ?????, ????? ??????? … Slovak: výrik palawanský … Spanish: Autillo de Palawa, Autillo de Palawan … Swedish: Palawandvärguv

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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