Reddish Scops Owl (Otus rufescens)

Reddish Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus rufescens | [authority] Horsfield, 1821 | [UK] Reddish Scops Owl | [FR] Petit duc roussatre | [DE] Roteleule | [ES] Autillo Rojizo | [NL] Rosse 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

Head buffy to white, upperparts tawny rufous with buff spots. Underparts more pale, cinnamon like with dark spots. Iris yellow and feet flesh colored, bill yellowish pink. Small.

Listen to the sound of Reddish Scops Owl

[audio: Scops Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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size min.: 19 cm size max.: 20 cm
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Oriental Region : Malay Peninsula, Greater Sundas


It occurs in primary and tall secondary forest, including logged forest and peat-swamp forest up to 1000 m, but favouring primary forest below 600 m


Nesting takes place in March-July. Nest is built in tree cavity, often old Woodpecker nest.

Feeding habits

Usually hunts low in the understorey of the forest. No information on prey.


This forest-dependent species is listed as Near Threatened because it is assumed to have experienced moderately rapid declines owing to the extensive loss of lowland forests from large areas of the Sundaic lowlands. It is not considered more threatened because it can use secondary habitats and occurs at higher elevations.
Otus rufescens occurs in the Sundaic lowlands, from south peninsular Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Kalimantan, Sumatra (including Bangka Island) and Java, Indonesia and Brunei. It has also been reported from the Phillipines, perhaps from islands offshore from Sabah. It seems to be generally rare throughout its range but is reportedly locally common in some areas. Overall, declines are assumed owing to the extensive loss of forest in the region
Reddish Scops Owl status Near Threatened


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Reddish Scops Owl distribution range map

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