Oriental Scops owl

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas, Western Ghats, Parts of Central and East India and North East India.


Size of 17–21 cm; wingspan 50–53 cm; wt. of 75–95 g. It occurs in grey-brown and rufous morphs. Grey-brown morph has less patterned upperparts and stronger black streaking below, but is variable. The Rufous morph is plain rufous above, apart from white scapular line and finely dark-streaked forehead and crown, and lighter below The breast has dark shaft streaks and thin horizontal pencil-lines; eyes are yellow; bill is blackish-grey; feet is yellowish-grey or greyish-flesh colour. The sub-species O. s. modestus (Walden, 1874) is found in Andaman Islands, India. It is found in deciduous and mixed forest, even open evergreen forest, and found also in riparian woodland, orchards and parkland.

Food Habits:

 It eats insects and spiders and also small rodents and small birds. It is crepuscular, so it hunts shortly after sundown and shortly before sunrise. It prefers to feed along edges, in open, park-like woods, or in glades. It forages both from the forest floor and in the canopy. It hunts from perch, dropping down on to prey, but frequently also in flight.

Breeding Habits:

They breed in April- May in Andaman. The nest is a hollow in a tree trunk or a hole in a wall, at very variable height above ground. They lay a clutch of 3–6 eggs. The incubation period is 24–25 days by both parents and both take care of the fledglings.