Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Collared Scops-owl (Otus lettia)


French: Petit-duc à collier German: Halsband-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo chino

Scops lettia


, 1836,



Traditionally considered to belong to species-group centred on O. bakkamoena (which see). Previously considered part of O. bakkamoena (sometimes under synonyms manipurensis and alboniger), a treatment still preferred by many authors, and it may intergrade with that species in Nepal; also, considered by some to be conspecific with O. lempiji, but differences in vocalizations suggest specific status. Race plumipes formerly treated as part of O. bakkamoena, but must belong with present species on morphological grounds#R. Formerly considered to include race ussuriensis of O. semitorques (which see). Indochinese population, tentatively included in nominate, may be closer to erythrocampe. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. l. plumipes (A. O. Hume, 1870) – W Himalayan foothills from N Pakistan E to W Nepal border.
  • O. l. lettia (Hodgson, 1836) – Nepal, E India (West Bengal) and Bangladesh E to Assam, Myanmar, Thailand (except S peninsula) and Indochina.
  • O. l. erythrocampe (Swinhoe, 1874) – S & E China and NW Vietnam.
  • O. l. glabripes (Swinhoe, 1870) – Taiwan.
  • O. l. umbratilis (Swinhoe, 1870) – Hainan I.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25 cm; 108–170 g. Occurs in grey-brown and rufous morphs. Facial disc greyish to light rufous, with buff eyebrows and inner webs of ear tufts, latter rather... read more


    Male gives single mellow “buuo”, inflected downwards, repeated at longish intervals of... read more


    Sal (Shorea robusta), deciduous and evergreen forest, secondary growth, also open scrub... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects (especially beetles and grasshoppers); diet also includes moderate proportion of vertebrates, such as rodents, bats, small... read more


    Feb–Apr/May; some evidence that breeding season may be longer; in Thailand Jan–Apr. Nest a natural hollow or woodpecker hole 2... read more


    Generally resident, with some local movement from higher-lying areas to lower elevations in winter. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No global population estimate, but species described as very common in parts of range, e.g. Thailand and Myanmar, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Collared Scops-owl (Otus lettia). 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 14 December 2019).