Japanese Scops Owl (Otus semitorques)

Japanese Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus semitorques | [authority] Temminck, 1850 | [UK] Japanese Scops Owl | [FR] Petit-duc du Japon | [DE] Japan-Halsbandeule | [ES] Autillo Japones | [NL] Japanse 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

Upper parts grey finely vermiculated with dark brown. The wings dark brown, outer webs of primaries with whitish-buff bars, inner webs finely vermiculated; a white band on the scapulars. The tail brownish-grey narrowly barred with whitish and finely vermiculated with brown. The underparts greyish-brown streaked dark, the feathers with dark brown shaft-stripes and parts finely vermiculated with brown. The bill greenish, the feet grey.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 23 cm size max.: 25 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : Northeast China, Korea, Ussuriland, Japan, Ryukyu Is.


Lowland forest,wooded plainsforest hillsides to 900m;in winter parks & gardens


Nest is a tree cavity, clutch size 4-5 eggs. No further information

Feeding habits

Usually insects and small vertebrates including rodents, birds and reptiles.

Video Japanese Scops Owl


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


Not globally threatened, and very common in some areas.
The species is part of a complex Otus family. Taxonomic status still discussed.
Japanese Scops Owl status Least Concern


Resident but nomadic, will descent to lower latitudes during winter.

Distribution map

Japanese Scops Owl distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *