Anjouan Scops Owl (Otus capnodes)

Anjouan Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus capnodes | [authority] Gurney, 1889 | [UK] Anjouan Scops Owl | [FR] Petit-duc d’Anjouan | [DE] Anjouaneule | [ES] Autillo de Anjouan | [NL] Anjouan dwergooruil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Otus capnodes AF Anjouan Is, Comoros


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

Small, eared, dark-coloured owl. Two colour forms; both are barred, streaked and vermiculated: one is dark ashy-brown and the other paler rufous-brown with pale grey facial disc bordered black. Both frequently seen together. Voice Distinct, drawn-out whistle, often repeated and separated by short interludes.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 20 cm size max.: 22 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Africa : Anjouan Islands, Comoros


It survives in remaining fragments of native upland forest, and appears to be dependent on large trees with cavities for nesting and roosting, usually on steep slopes. However, there appear to be no areas of truly pristine native forest left on Anjouan, so this species must be able to tolerate some habitat degradation.


Hardly any information, has been observed at entries of tree holes/cavities.

Feeding habits

Insects are believed to form at least part of its diet


This species is classified as Critically Endangered because it has a small population which is likely to be declining owing to continuing habitat destruction and degradation in its small range. Its prospects are currently uncertain as forest degradation advances on Anjouan. However, recent evidence suggests that it can adapt to human-affected forest areas where large trees remain.
This species was rediscovered on Anjouan (= Ndzuani) in the Comoro Islands in June 1992, after an absence of records dating back to 1886. At least several tens of pairs, probably 100-200 pairs, were estimated to survive in 1999, and although a survey in 1995 produced a maximum estimate of only 96 individuals2, differences between these two estimates may be due to sampling techniques. The most recent survey in 2006 similarly found the bird abundant in suitable habitat and encouragingly found individuals in degraded habitats down to 300m, and it has also been sighted at sea level. This survey estimates the population to be somewhere between the two previous estimates at 50-100 pairs. The population has been estimated at 50-100 pairs.
Anjouan Scops Owl status Critically Endangered



Distribution map

Anjouan Scops Owl distribution range map

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