Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Sokoke Scops-owl (Otus ireneae)


French: Petit-duc d’Irene German: Sokoke-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo de Sokoke

Otus ireneae


, 1966,

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya


Probably closest to O. icterorhynchus. Monotypic.


SE Kenya (Arabuko-Sokoke Forest) and NE Tanzania (lowlands N of E Usambara Mts).

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 46–50 g (n = two males). Small scops-owl with dark brown, grey-brown and rufous morphs. Crown streaked dusky brown, small ear tufts sometimes... read more


A whistled “tu-tu-tu-tu-tu...” given in series of 10–20 notes, at rate of c.... read more


Forest. Generally prefers Cynometra-Brachylaena forest on red magarini sands, but also... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects; stomach contents from a few individuals showed arboreal leaf-eating insects such as crickets, katydids and phasmids. Some... read more


Breeding habits unknown. Presumably nests in tree cavities like other scops-owls.


Unknown, but probably largely sedentary owing to its restricted range. Evidence of some dispersal... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I. Previously listed as Vulnerable. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA and East African Coastal Forests EBA. Kenyan... 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). Sokoke Scops-owl (Otus ireneae). 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).