Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Luzon Lowland Scops-owl (Otus megalotis)


French: Petit-duc de Luçon German: Philippinen-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo orejudo de Luzón
Other common names: Philippine Scops-owl

Scops megalotis


, 1875,

probably Manila, Philippines


Traditionally considered to belong to species-group centred on O. bakkamoena (which see). Formerly treated as conspecific with O. bakkamoena, but shown to be vocally distinct. Until recently was considered conspecific with O. nigrorum and O. everetti#R. O. nigrorum differs from present species in smaller size (male wing 134.7 mm, range 132–139 mm, vs 175 mm, range 165–187 mm in megalotis) and having (3); white vs greyish or buffy underparts (3); tawny-rufous vs brown crown and upper facial disc, or (cf. rufous morph of megalotis) both taxa with tawny-rufous crown and facial disc but present species with white lower facial disc, forehead and ear-tufts (at least 2); no scapular line (2); feathering not covering upper foot—here treated as a mensural character, so score allowed (2). O. everetti differs from present species in lacking scapular line (2), lacking feathering on upper foot (2), and having much smaller feet (3). Proposed form whiteheadi is a synonym. Monotypic.


Luzon, Marinduque and Catanduanes, in N Philippines.

Descriptive notes

23–28 cm; c. 200–310 g. With O. sagittatus, the largest of the Old World scops-owls. Occurs in grey-brown and rufous morphs. Grey-brown morph deep brown... read more


A loud, sudden series of 3–6 ascending notes on falling scale, similar to O.lempiji... read more


Tropical forest, secondary woodland and forest edge, generally in denser parts and in understorey;... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Stomachs of collected birds contained insects.


Males captured in Mar in or approaching breeding condition; young fledgling found in Feb on Luzon. May nest in tree cavities and among... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Few reliable data, and no information on population size or trends. Reports of status vary from probably endangered to... 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. (2020). Luzon Lowland Scops-owl (Otus megalotis). 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 18 January 2020).