Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Arabian Scops-owl (Otus pamelae)


French: Petit-duc d’Arabie German: Arabien-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo árabe

Otus senegalensis pamelæ


, 1937,

Dailami, Wadi Bisha, Arabia


Until recently treated as conspecific with O. senegalensis (including O. socotranus), but molecular evidence suggests that it may be closer to (but still very distinct from) O. scops#R; it differs from O. senegalensis in its song (harsher, higher and more protracted notes: 3); larger size with notably longer tarsus#R (effect size against Kenya sample 3.41; score 2); duskier in background plumage with much less contrasting streaking (reduced blackish streaks and no whitish feathering) (3). Birds in mountains of N Somalia appear to have similar song, and may belong in this species. Monotypic.


SW Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 18 cm; 62–71 g. Smallish (wing length 134–148 mm), rather pale scops-owl, with white eyebrows and lores. Pale brownish-grey upperparts and greyish-brown... read more


Song very similar to that of O. senegalensis, but individual notes slightly... read more


Frequents groups of trees amidst arid lands, rocky areas, and generally rather sparsely vegetated... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Thought to feed mostly on invertebrates and occasionally on small vertebrates.


No information.


No information. Probably largely sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Global numbers may approach 30,000 pairs, but no hard data on numbers. According to BirdLife International, population... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Arabian Scops-owl (Otus pamelae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).