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Oriental Scops Owl

Otus sunia

Length: 7.5 inches Wingspan: 17-20 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Small ear tufts, grey or brown upperparts, light underparts with dark streaking, orangish or brown eyes

Oriental Scops Owl - Otus suniaThe Oriental Scops Owl is a bird of southern Asia. In North America, they are only known from two sightings in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

Habitat: Found in deciduous and mixed forest, and less often in evergreen forest. They can also be found in suburban settings such as parks or forested residential areas.

Diet: Mostly feeds on insects and spiders, but they will also take small vertebrates such as small rodents and birds.

Behavior: Solitary when hunting, foraging in open areas such as forest clearings or forest edges.  They observe from a perch, and when prey is spotted, they swoop out to snag it with their talons.

Nesting: Nests in a tree cavity, or in a protected space in a man-made structure.  The female lays between 3 and 6 eggs.

Song: Males have a distinctive, slow, ug....chug...chug

Migration: Northern populations are migratory, with birds in Russia, North China, and Japan moving to southeastern Asia for the winter.  They are permanent residents in the southern part of their range.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive map of Oriental Scops Owl sightings

Similar Species: Should any again stray to North America, most likely to be confused with Western Screech Owl.

Conservation Status: Populations appear to be stable, and they are found over a very wide geographic area. The IUCN currently lists the Oriental Scops Owl as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) BirdLife International - Oriental Scops Owl

2) The Owl Pages - Oriental Scops Owl

3) Planet of Birds - Oriental Scops Owl

Photo Information: Photo by "Naturelly" - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Oriental Scops Owl - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Oriental Scops Owl Photos (coming soon!!)