Serendib Scops Owl (Otus thilohoffmanni)

Serendib Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus thilohoffmanni | [authority] Warakagoda and Rasmussen, 2004 | [UK] Serendib Scops Owl | [FR] Petit-duc de Serendib | [DE] – | [ES] – | [NL] Sri Lankaanse dwergooruil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Otus thilohoffmanni OR Sri Lanka


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

A small, short-tailed, rather uniformly rufescent scops-owl with eye color ranging from yellow to orange,lacking apparent ear-tufts with a weak defined facial disk, and with weak tarsi feathered for less than half their length. The upperparts are almost uniformly rufous marked overall with small, short blackish chevrons, spots and/or bars, but lacking white spots; the wings and tail have rufous outer webs and mostly blackish inner webs, with broad “evenly spaced” weak rufous and blackish bands; the underparts are somewhat paler rufous than the upperparts and_fairly uniformly sprinkled with blackish triangular spots. the central belly and undertail-coverts are pale and unspotted. The head is rounded and fairly uniformly rufescent, with white supercilia, no ear-tufts; bar-like chevrons on the central crown; a uniform, slightly darker rufous facial disk.

Listen to the sound of Serendib Scops Owl

[audio: Scops Owl.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 17 cm size max.: 18 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Oriental Region : Sri Lanka


Found in large tracts of lowland rainforest, within an altitudinal range of 30 to 530 metres


No data

Feeding habits

Essentially a nocturnal bird of secretive habits that are little understood, with much inferred from vocalisation patterns. Vocalisation begins at dusk but the bird does not leave its roost to feed until darkness falls. During the first two hours of darkness the owl hunts in the undergrowth for beetles and moths, exploiting this time when there is no competition from other nocturnal birds, later moving to higher levels for the same prey

Video Serendib Scops Owl


copyright: Martin Kennewell


This species is listed as Endangered because of its very small range and correspondingly small population, both of which are undergoing a decline owing to habitat loss and degradation.
Serendib Scops Owl status Endangered



Distribution map

Serendib Scops Owl distribution range map

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