Rainforest Scops Owl (Otus rutilus)

Rainforest Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus rutilus | [authority] Pucheran, 1849 | [UK] Rainforest Scops Owl | [FR] Petit duc toroka | [DE] Madagaskar-Zwergohreule | [ES] Autillo Malgache | [NL] Madagaskar-dwergooruil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Otus rutilus AF Madagascar


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

Grey, brown or rufous plumage. All morphs have small ear tufts, light spots on the shoulders and pale ?eyebrows’ that vary in their prominence. Often there are striped markings on the wings and outer tail feathers, and the crown and underparts can be streaked. The eyes are yellow and the black-tipped bill varies from dull green to yellow-grey.

Listen to the sound of Rainforest Scops Owl

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

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 52 cm wingspan max.: 54 cm
size min.: 22 cm size max.: 24 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  


Africa : Madagascar


The species inhabits a variety of habitats, ranging from primary and secondary moist forest and drier forest to thickets, humid bush country and urban parks, from sea-level to 2000 m


Nests in tree cavity or abandoned stick nest of larger bird. Clutch size is 4-5 eggs.

Feeding habits

Nocturnal hunter. HUnts for insects like mosths and spiders mostly, but small vertebrates are also taken.

Video Rainforest Scops Owl


copyright: Kim Tarsey


This species has a very 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.
Rainforest Scops Owl status Least Concern


Resident and sedentary, young show some dispersal.

Distribution map

Rainforest Scops Owl distribution range map

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