Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Pemba Scops-owl (Otus pembaensis)


French: Petit-duc de Pemba German: Pemba-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo de Pemba

Otus pembaensis


, 1937,

Wete, Pemba, Tanzania


Relationships unclear. In the past was often treated as a race of O. rutilus; recent study indicates that it is closer to O. senegalensis#R#R. Monotypic.


Pemba I, off N Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; no data on body mass. Small, uniformly coloured scops-owl with small ear tufts. Occurs in rufous and brown morphs, with intermediates varying considerably in... read more


Monosyllabic “hu” given at irregular intervals, or in fast runs of 4–6 in 10... read more


Well-wooded and semi-open areas with densely foliaged trees, often in clove and mango... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Mainly insects. Hunts from perch, dropping on to prey; also gleans from foliage and hawks insects in flight. Apparently... read more


No published information. Male with active gonads collected Aug; suspected to breed from Aug–Oct. Nest probably in tree cavity;... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Formerly considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Pemba EBA. Formerly common and widespread in native forest and in clove... 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). Pemba Scops-owl (Otus pembaensis). 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).