The Serendib Scops Owl (Otus thilohoffmanni) is the most recently discovered bird in Sri Lanka.
It was originally located by its unfamiliar poo-ooo call in the Kitulgala rainforest by prominent Sri Lankan owls and birder Deepal Warakagoda.
Six years later, it was finally seen by him on 23 January 2001 in Sinharaja and formally described as a species new to science in 2004 (Warakagoda and Rasmussen 2004).
Apart from Sinharaja and Kitulgala, it has also been met at Ranakanda Reserve in Morapitiya, and Eratna Gilimale.
It is the first new bird to be discovered in Sri Lanka since 1868, when the Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) Whistling Thrush Myophonus blighi was discovered. It is also the 24th (according to some authorities the 27th) endemic bird species for Sri Lanka.
This rare species inhabits the rainforests in the southwestern sector of Sri Lanka.
Like most owls, it is strictly nocturnal and hunts insects (e.g. beetles and moths) close to the ground.
Calls / Vocalization
It begins calling at dusk, its frequency rising again some two hours before dawn.
The general color of this 16.5 cm long short-tailed owl is reddish brown with paler underparts, spotted all over with black.
The irises are yellow and the feet and claws are white.
More Owl Information
- Owl Information
- Index of Owl Species with Pictures
- Owl Eyes / Vision Adaptations
- Pygmy Owls
- Barn Owls
- Horned Owls
- Scops Owls