Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Near Threatened

Sula Scops-owl (Otus sulaensis)


French: Petit-duc des Sula German: Sula-Zwergohreule Spanish: Autillo de Sula

Pisorhina sulaensis

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1898,

Mangole, Sula Islands


Probably part of a species-group centred on O. manadensis (which see). Until recently treated as conspecific with O. manadensis, but vocally very distinctive (based on recordings on xeno-canto and AVoCet—where split—subjectively allow 4), “considerably larger”#R (allow 2), and tarsus bare for “three-eighths of its length” (2); it differs from O. mendeni in its distinctive voice (song similar, but given in rapidly repeated sequence, recalling dove, fide recordings on AVoCet; score 3), much larger size (male wing 170 mm vs 141 mm#R; score 3), less feathered tarsus (allow 1), and evidently more boldly marked plumage (allow 1). Morphologically appears to be closer to O. magicus. Monotypic.


Sula Is (Taliabu, Seho, Mangole, Sanana), E of Sulawesi.

Descriptive notes

c. 20 cm; no data on body mass. Small, richly coloured scops-owl with very small, rounded ear tufts, greyish-brown facial disc and heavily streaked and mottled brownish-black... read more


Song a rapid series of resonant notes, each phrase sounding almost like a trill and lasting c. 1... read more


Found in primary and disturbed secondary forest from sea-level to 1100 m or more elevation. Also... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Thought to feed on insects and other invertebrates and perhaps small vertebrates.


No information.


Probably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened, but currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Range restricted to Sula Is within Banggai and Sula Islands EBA. BirdLife International posits... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Sula Scops-owl (Otus sulaensis). 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 19 January 2020).