Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Giant Scops-owl (Otus gurneyi)


French: Petit-duc de Gurney German: Rot-Zwergohreule Spanish: Búho de Mindanao
Other common names: Mindanao Eagle-owl

Pseudoptynx gurneyi


, 1879,

Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines


In past placed in an expanded Otus, but distinctiveness in plumage and size led to subsequent treatment in monotypic Mimizuku; recent molecular study, however, indicates that it is embedded within genus Otus and closely related to O. semitorques ussuriensis#R#R. Recent discovery of presence on Samar raises possibility of subspecific differentiation there#R. Monotypic.


EC & S Philippines: Samar, Dinagat, Siargao and Mindanao; report of former presence on Marinduque not confirmed#R.

Descriptive notes

30–35 cm. Medium-sized owl, with long, well-developed, rufous ear-tufts marked with white; facial disc pale rufous, thinly outlined in black, with broad white eyebrows... read more


Vocalizations only recently described. Two main calls: a harsh bark or scream, considered almost... read more


Lowland humid forest and secondary growth, occasionally small groves of trees within grassland,... read more

Food and feeding

No specific information, but suspected to hunt small vertebrates (mammals and birds) and larger insects.


On Mt Katanglad, Mindanao, birds were vocally active in Feb–May. No other information.



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES I. Previously listed as Endangered. Population estimated at 2500–10,000 mature individuals. Restricted-range species: present in Mindanao and the... 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. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Giant Scops-owl (Otus gurneyi). 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).