Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia)

Oriental Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus sunia | [authority] Hodgson, 1836 | [UK] Oriental Scops Owl | [FR] Petit duc oriental | [DE] Orient-Zwergohreule | [ES] Autillo Oriental | [NL] Oosterse 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

Like other scops owls, it has small head tufts, or ears. The upperparts are grey or brown, depending on the subspecies, 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.

Listen to the sound of Oriental Scops Owl

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/STRIGIFORMES/Strigidae/sounds/Oriental Scops Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 21 cm
incubation min.: 24 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Oriental Region : widespread, also East Asia


Prefers deciduous and mixed forest, not uncommon in open evergreen forest. Also in riparian woodland,orchards and parkland;in India also groves and around settlements or agriculture.


Nest in a tree cavity, hole in a wall or nestbox. Clutch size 3-6 eggs which are incubated for about 25 days.

Feeding habits

Mainly insect and spiders, otherwise small vertebrates like rodents and birds. Forages along open spaces found on the ground and in the canopy. Perch-hunter.

Video Oriental Scops Owl


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


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.
Oriental Scops Owl status Least Concern


Northern populations largely migratory. Southern populations resident. Birds from Siberia to North China and Japan winter mostly from South China to Thailand and South to Malaysia, and Sumatra (2 records, January and March); in Japan present mostly May-September/October, with very few noted in Central & South parts in winter; some short-distance movements recorded in Himalayan region.

Distribution map

Oriental Scops Owl distribution range map

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