Siau Scops Owl (Otus siaoensis)

Siau Scops Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Otus siaoensis | [authority] Schlegel, 1873 | [UK] Siau Scops Owl | [FR] Petit-duc de Siao | [DE] – | [ES] – | [NL] Moheli-dwergooruil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Otus siaoensis AU Siau Island


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

Small, forest-dwelling owl. Typical scops-owl with relatively large head and feet, very and finely barred wings and tail. Similar spp. The only scops-owl on Siau. Voice Undocumented. Taxonomy Previously considered conspecific with Moluccan Scops-owl O. magicus, recent research has shown it to be a valid species on the basis of morphological features

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  


Australasia : Siau Island


There are no ecological data, although it is reasonable to assume that the species was a forest dweller in common with its close congeners


No data

Feeding habits

No data


This species has not been recorded since the type specimen was collected in 1866, and it was not found during recent surveys since 1998. Very little forest remains and habitat destruction has been extensive and is continuing. However, it cannot be assumed to be Extinct, because there have been some local reports, a thorough survey is required, and some Asian scops-owls survive even in secondary habitats. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered.
Otus siaoensis is only known from the holotype collected on the island of Siau, north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1866. Given the small size of this island, and its generally unvegetated volcanic upper reaches, the original population was probably always modest in size, and any surviving population must be tiny, given that little forest remains. There is some suggestion that the species might survive on the basis of accounts given by local people; however, a recent survey of nocturnal birds in northern Sulawesi spent 32 days on Siau Island and failed to confirm that the species still occurs on the island, but semi-structured interviews revealed that small owls do occur and one unidentified call was heard; these reports remain unconfirmed, but a recent sound recording possibly relates to this species, and further searches are planned.
Siau Scops Owl status Critically Endangered



Distribution map

Siau Scops Owl distribution range map

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