Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Socotra Scops-owl (Otus socotranus)


French: Petit-duc de Socotra German: Sokotra-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo de Socotora

Scops socotranus

Ogilvie-Grant and H. O. Forbes

, 1899,



Until recently treated as conspecific with O. senegalensis (including O. pamelae), but differs in its song, a repeated low-pitched “woop woop da-pwoorp” vs a soft purring “kjurrrr” in both senegalensis and pamelae (although latter two differ from each other) (score 4); very short, blunt ear-tufts (no measurements available, but allow 1); greatly reduced dark streaking on upperparts (2); whiter, less marked belly (2); pale buffy-grey upper breast encircling lower line of facial disc (1); distinctly if subtly rustier primary coverts (ns[1]). Call resembles but is not identical to that of O. sunia, and molecular evidence also points to relationship with this species and O. insularis#R, but morphological differences considerable (not enumerated here). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.


Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 64–85 g. Small scops-owl with inconspicuous ear tufts, pale sandy-greyish upperparts with dark streaks and mottling, pale greyish underparts with dark... read more


Song a repeated, low-pitched “woop woop da-pwoorp…woop woop da-pwoorp”, the... read more


Arid semi-desert with scattered shrubs and trees amidst generally rocky landscapes. Reported to be... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Stomach of collected bird had grasshoppers, a centipede and two lizards.


Probably nests in natural tree cavities, but little information. Two young in nest on 19 Feb c. 20 days old, suggesting laying in early Jan... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species found solely with Socotra EBA. Recent surveys found species in widespread locales, especially... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Socotra Scops-owl (Otus socotranus). 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 11 December 2019).