Indian Scops Owl 

In the deep dark night, the Indian Scops Owl comes to life. This fascinating creature, with its piercing eyes and feathered wings, is a true master of the night.

Serial NumberCharacteristicDescription
1Common NameIndian Scops Owl
2Scientific NameOtus bakkamoena
3ColourBrown with white spots and yellow eyes
4Avg. Length20-25 cm
5Avg. Height18-23 cm
6Type of birdForest bird
7Found in IndiaThroughout India except for the higher Himalayan regions
8HabitatForests, scrublands, and agricultural areas
9StatusLeast Concern

With a soft and gentle hoot, the Indian Scops Owl calls out to its mate, a gentle sound that echoes through the trees. Its body is small, but mighty, able to soar through the air with ease and grace.

The owl’s feathers are soft and downy, with shades of brown and grey that help it blend into the shadows. It perches high atop a tree, scanning the landscape for its next meal.


The Indian Scops Owl is a small species of owl, measuring between 17-20 centimeters in height and with a wingspan of around 45 centimeters. Its body is stocky, with a round head and short tail.

The Indian Scops Owl has striking physical features, including its large, bright yellow eyes with black pupils. These eyes allow the owl to see clearly in the low light conditions of its nocturnal habitat.

The feathers of the Indian Scops Owl are soft and fluffy, providing insulation against the cool night air. The overall coloration of the owl’s feathers is a mixture of browns and greys, with intricate patterns of dark and light stripes and spots. This unique coloration helps the owl blend into its surroundings, making it difficult for prey to spot it.

The beak of the Indian Scops Owl is short and curved, allowing it to easily grab and tear apart its prey. Its sharp talons are strong and well-adapted for gripping and killing small mammals, insects, and other prey.

Habitat and Food

The Indian Scops Owl is a nocturnal bird that is found in a variety of habitats across the Indian subcontinent, including forests, scrublands, and agricultural areas. It is a non-migratory species and tends to stay in the same area throughout the year.

The Indian Scops Owl is a carnivorous bird and primarily feeds on insects, small mammals, reptiles, and birds. It is an opportunistic hunter and will hunt whatever prey is most abundant in its habitat.

The owl hunts primarily at night, using its keen eyesight and acute hearing to locate prey. It can fly almost silently, which allows it to approach prey undetected. Once it has spotted its prey, the Indian Scops Owl swoops down and uses its sharp talons and beak to catch and kill the prey.

The Indian Scops Owl is known to be a voracious predator, and can eat up to one-third of its body weight in a single night. It regurgitates pellets of undigested material, including bones, fur, and feathers, which can be used to study the owl’s diet and habitat.

The Indian Scops Owl is a habitat generalist and can be found in a range of environments, from dry forests to wetlands. It prefers areas with a mix of open and wooded habitats, where it can hunt for a variety of prey. It is adaptable and can thrive in human-dominated landscapes, such as agricultural areas and urban parks.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Indian Scops Owl is a monogamous species that typically breeds during the dry season from February to May. During this time, the owls will form pairs and engage in courtship behavior, such as hooting and offering food to their mate.

The female Indian Scops Owl will lay a clutch of 2-4 eggs in a nest that is typically located in a tree cavity, old nest of another bird, or in the crevice of a rock. The nest is lined with feathers and other soft materials, providing a warm and comfortable environment for the eggs to hatch.

The eggs of the Indian Scops Owl are white and spherical, measuring around 32 mm in diameter. The female will incubate the eggs for approximately 25-28 days, while the male will provide food for both the female and the developing embryos.

Once the eggs hatch, the chicks are altricial, meaning they are helpless and dependent on their parents for food and care. The parents will feed the chicks a diet of regurgitated insects and small mammals, and will carefully tend to their offspring, keeping them warm and protected from predators.

The chicks will fledge and leave the nest after around 28-30 days, but will remain dependent on their parents for several more weeks as they learn to hunt and fend for themselves. The parents will continue to feed and care for the fledglings during this time, until they are fully independent and able to survive on their own.

IUCN Status

The Indian Scops Owl is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This is because its population is believed to be stable, and it is found in a wide variety of habitats across the Indian subcontinent, including areas that are modified by human activity.

However, like many other owl species, the Indian Scops Owl is vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation, as well as pesticide use and persecution by humans. Loss of habitat due to deforestation and agricultural expansion is a significant threat to the species, as it relies on a mix of open and wooded habitats to survive.

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