Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena)

Indian Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus bakkamoena | [authority] Pennant, 1769 | [UK] Indian Scops Owl | [FR] Petit duc indien | [DE] Hindu-Halsbandeule | [ES] Autillo Indio | [NL] Indische Dwergooruil


Monotypic species


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

The Indian Scops Owl is a small (23-25cm) owl, although it is one of the largest of the scops owls. Like other scops owls, it has small head tufts, or ears. The upperparts are grey or brown, depending on the morph, with faint buff spotting. The underparts are buff with fine darker streaking. The facial disc is whitish or buff, and the eyes are orange or brown. There is a buff neckband. Sexes are similar. The flight is deeply undulating.

Listen to the sound of Indian Scops Owl

[audio: Scops Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 23 cm size max.: 25 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 29 days
fledging min.: 21 days fledging max.: 25 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia, Oriental Region : South Pakistan, Central, South India, Sri Lanka


Preferred habitat being wooded areas such as forests and fields with cover.


Late March – early April. 3-5 eggs laid in a hole in a tree or rock cavity. Incubation takes 28-29 days with the young fledging at about 4-5 weeks old. The adults continue to feed the young for another 3-4 weeks.

Feeding habits

Mainly insects, sometimes rodents, lizards and birds.

Video Indian Scops Owl


copyright: Jean Hupperetz


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Indian Scops Owl status Least Concern



Distribution map

Indian Scops Owl distribution range map

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