Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Vermiculated Fishing-owl (Scotopelia bouvieri)


French: Chouette-pêcheuse de Bouvier German: Marmorfischeule Spanish: Cárabo pescador vermiculado

Scotopelia bouvieri


, 1875,

Lopé, Ogowe River, Gabon




Congo Basin in S Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Congo, DR Congo, and extreme NW Angola; also in S Nigeria and S Benin#R#R.

Descriptive notes

46–51 cm; female 637 g (n = 1). Head buffy-rufous with black streaks on forehead, no ear tufts, inconspicuous light rufous facial disc; upperparts variable,... read more


Croaking hoot followed by shorter, faster notes, “drook krook ook-ook ook-ook”; duets. read more


Gallery forest fringing large rivers, within primary forest; in some areas prefers rivers 10 m or... read more

Food and feeding

Small fish (especially Clarias catfish in Nigeria), frogs, crustaceans, fiddler crabs, and small birds and mammals; appears to eat... read more


Very little information. Lays May–Oct; in DR Congo probably as late as Nov–Dec. Uses old stick nest of large bird;... read more


Probably resident; may make similar movements to S. peli during periods of drought.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Little is known about its biology; this may be because of its secretive lifestyle and remote habitat preferences or because... 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). Vermiculated Fishing-owl (Scotopelia bouvieri). 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).