Andaman Scops Owl (Otus balli)

Andaman Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus balli | [authority] Hume, 1873 | [UK] Andaman Scops Owl | [FR] Petit duc des Andaman | [DE] Andamaneneule | [ES] Autillo de Andaman | [NL] Andamanendwergooruil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Otus balli OR Andaman Islands


Members of the genus Otus are the Scops and Screech owls. They are relatively small owls, with short, rounded wings. Most have erectile ear-tufts. Otus is a worldwide genus, containing some 45 species.

Physical charateristics

Plumage reddish brown with pale facial disk and white eyebrowes, upperparts with distinct black vermiculations. Tail and flight feathers barred. Underparts paler than upperparts with white vermiculations. buff spotted dark below. Iris green-yellow, bill and feet grey.
It is distinguished from the Oriental Scops (the only other Scops owl found in the Andamans) by unstreaked under and upper parts and has a different call. The adult occurs in brown and rufous morphs.

Listen to the sound of Andaman Scops Owl

[audio: Scops Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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Oriental Region : Andaman Islands. Andaman Scops-owl Otus balli is found in Narcondam and South Andaman


It occurs in trees in semi-open or cultivated areas and around human settlements


It nests in February-April. No further detail.

Feeding habits

A strictly nocturnal bird, it feeds primarily on insects and their larvae

Video Andaman Scops Owl


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small range, within which habitat is declining in quality and extent. However, the species is tolerant of considerable human modification of its habitat and thus it is unlikely to be more threatened.
Otus balli is an endemic resident in the Andaman islands, India, where it was common, at least early in the twentieth century. Its current status is unclear, although it appears to be easily found and therefore probably common. There seems little reason to expect its population to be under immediate threat given its tolerance of disturbed areas
Andaman Scops Owl status Near Threatened


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Andaman Scops Owl distribution range map

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