Oriental scops-owl

Oriental scops-owl
Otus sunia
(Photo from World Bird Info)

Common name:
oriental scops-owl (en); mocho-d’orelhas-oriental (pt)petit-duc d’Orient (fr); autillo oriental (es); Orient-zwergohreule (de)

Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

This Asian species is found breeding from northern Pakistan and India, through Nepal and Bangladesh, into southern China and Indochina, and further north through eastern and north-eastern China and into Korea, Japan and Sakhalin in south-eastern Russia. The north-eastern populations migrate south to winter in south-eastern Asia, including Indonesia.

These birds are 17-21 cm long and have a wingspan of 42-53 cm. They weigh 75-95 g.

Oriental scops-owls are found in deciduous and mixed forests, and sometimes also in at the edge of taiga coniferous forests, but also in scrublands, pastures, plantations, parks and gardens. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

They mainly eat insects and spiders, but also some small vertebrates like rodents and small birds.

The oriental scops-owl is monogamous and breeds in February-June. They nest in tree cavities, in holes in walls or sometimes in nest-boxes. The female lays 3-6 eggs, which are incubated for 24-25 days. There is no information regarding the fledging period, but the chicks of similar species fledge 4-6 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the oriental scops-owl is reported to be very abundant in some parts of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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