|Latin name:||Otus scops|
|English name:||Scops owl|
|Family:||True owls (Strigidae)|
|Body length, cm:||19–20|
|Body weight, g:||60–120|
|Features:||small size, voice|
|Number, thousand pairs:||77–96|
|Conservation status:||SPEC 2, BERNA 2, CITES 1|
|Additionally:||Russian description of the species|
Differs in small size, incomplete facial disc, small feather "ears" on the head, tarsus, feathered up to the toes. The general tone of the plumage is brownish-gray, with many longitudinal light and dark streaks. The underside of the body is lighter, with more distinct longitudinal markings. The iris is bright yellow. Sexual dimorphism is poorly expressed - females are slightly larger than males. There are two color morphs: gray and red.
Spread... The species is migratory and sedentary. It has 2 subspecies in Eurasia and North-West Africa. For the most part, the European range does not extend north beyond latitude 48 ° N. Winters in the south of its range up to tropical Africa. In Italy, the nesting population is 4-8 thousand pairs, the height of distribution is up to 1,700 meters above sea level.
Habitat... It often settles in light deciduous and mixed forests, pine, chestnut and olive groves, parks, gardens, mountain forests, where there are hollows mainly along the edges, avoids thickets. The vertical settlement of the scops owl is limited to the forest zone.
Biology... Nests in hollows, natural niches, occupies old nests of corvids. In April-June, lays 4–5 white eggs, which the female incubates for 24–25 days. Chicks leave the nest on the 21st to 29th day of life. One clutch per year is typical. Outside the nesting period, it leads a solitary lifestyle. It feeds mainly on large insects: beetles, moths, orthoptera, less often spiders, birds and rodents.
Interesting fact... Scops owl is easily recognizable by its characteristic monotonous cry - "sleep-oo", issued at regular intervals at twilight, but its exact location is not easy to determine.
Security... The number of the species in different parts of the European range is declining, the main reason is the reduction in the forage base due to the use of pesticides in agriculture.
Common scoop, or scops owl (Otus scops)