Madagascar scops-owl

Madagascar scops-owl
Otus rutilus

Photo by Paolo Tibaldeschi (WWF-Bloggen Var Verden)

Common name:
Madagascar scops-owl (en); mocho-d’orelhas-de-Madagáscar (pt); petit-duc malgache (fr); autillo malgache (es); Madagaskar-zwergohreule (de)

Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

This species is endemic to Madagascar, being found throughout the island.

These birds are 19-24 cm long and have a wingspan of 50-55 cm. Females are larger than males, weighing 112-120 g while males weigh 85-107 g.

The Madagascar scops-owl is found in a wide range of habitats, including both primary and secondary forests in both moist and dry climates, dry scrublands, plantations, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of at least 1.800 m.

They feed mainly on insects, especially moth and beetles, but possibly also small vertebrates.

Madagascar scops-owls breed in November-January. They mainly nest in tree cavities, 4-7 m above the ground, but have also been found to nest on the ground, in small depressions among the leaf litter. The female lays 2-5 white eggs, which she incubates alone. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as locally rather common.The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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