Facts about African Scops Owls. African Scops Owl is a variety of owl that comes from the genus Otus of the Strigidae family. "Scientific name of the African Scops Owl is Otus senegalensis". African Scops Owl is a native bird to sub-Saharan Africa. The African Scops Owl gives a distinguishing voice "prrrp" once in five seconds, and it is difficult to be seen, owing to its small body size, camouflage and mysterious behavior. African Scops Owls prefer to live in the forest, particularly Okavango and Mopane, but they also live in an extensive range of diverse bushveld.
Features of African Scops Owl
The African Scops Owl is a small size bird with the body length ranges from 6 inches to 6.8 inches (15 cm to 17 cm), with the wing length, ranging from 4.7 inches to 5.8 inches (11.7 cm to 14.4 cm). Usually, female owls are heavier than the male ones, with the body weight between 45 grams and 100 grams, and a tail length between 2.3 inches and 2.5 inches (5.8 cm and 6.3 cm).
The colors and patterns of the African Scops Owls will differ individually. The facial disc of the African Scops Owl has a dark rim and fine vermiculations. African Scops Owls appear with yellow colored eyes, and with the blackish-horn bill. Their forehead and the crown have relatively wide shaft-streaks. African Scops Owls have small, but well-developed ear-tufts. During roosting in the daytime, the African Scops Owl extends its ear tufts to provide the impression of the branch of a tree, making it overlooked easily.
The Upperparts of the African Scops Owl are brown or grey in color, with fine vermiculations and darker streaks. The feathers of the upper wing-coverts and the mantle are habitually edged Rufus. The African Scops Owl scapulars have whitish spots, creating a white color band across their shoulder. Their flight and tail feathers are barred, dark and light, with the external webs of the primaries, containing large white marks. The African Scops Owl underparts have the same color as that of their upperparts, but habitually paler, with fine vermiculations and dark streaks. Tarsi are feathered to the bottom of the toes, which are shadowy grayish-tan in color and they have blackish-brown color claws.
Diet of African Scops Owl
The African Scops Owl mostly feeds on insects, like beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and moths, but it rarely feeds on scorpions, spiders, and small vertebrates, like frogs, rodents, birds and geckos. Usually, hunting is carried out from a roost, with the owl jumping into the land to grab the prey. African Scops Owls also hawk insects during the flight.
Behavior of African Scops Owl
The African Scops Owl is nocturnal, roosting during the day in thick foliage, against the trunk or a branch of a tree, or in a hole. Both male and female owls may roost close to each other, or even in a loose settlement. The female African Scops Owl usually deposits its eggs in the hollow of a tree. The African Scops Owl is capable of producing four to six eggs all through April and June after an incubation period of 27 days. The juvenile owls will fledge within 30 days.
During mating, the male and female African Scops Owls may listen to dueting. The male owl advertises the prospective nesting locations to the female African Scops Owl by singing from the entry of a tree hole, habitually from the one prepared by a woodpecker.
The average lifespan of the African Scops Owl is 20 years.