Facts about Biak Island Scops Owl. The Biak Island Scops Owl is native to Biak Island and Supiori Islandin Paupa, New Guinea. The Biak Island Scops Owl was first identified by Salvadori in 1876. "Scientific name for Biak Island Scops Owl is otus beccarii". It is a member of the genus Otus, a group that contains around 45 species, and the strigidae family and the strigiformes order.
Physical Characteristics of Biak Island Scops Owl
These brown owls have very small ear tufts. Biak Island Scops Owls have short, rounded wings.
Biak Island Scops Owls have yellow eyes. Biak Island Scops Owls have pale white eyebrows, and markings in the fur above the eyes. The Biak Island Scops Owl have brown barred under parts with some white stripes. The Biak Island Scops Owl have a distinct facial disk. These birds may have brown or rufous (red) color patterns. (Many owls have brown feathers as the most common coloring with some individuals having rust or reddish-brown tints to their feathers.)
The Biak Island Scops Owls are about eight inches (20.3 cm) tall. We don’t know their clutch size, breeding season, number of broods per year and survival rate of fledgelings.
Behavior of Biak Island Scops Owl
The Biak Island Scops Owl's call is similar to deer’s bark. It is an entirely nocturnal species. This species is not well known, and this is due to the fact that it was only somewhat recently identified as a separate species. The Biak Island Scops Owl is estimated to have a population of 2,500 to 10,000 birds based on the known habitat size and population density of similar species.
These birds do not migrate in their range, either to other islands or up and down the mountain elevations with the seasons.
There is not much information on the diet of this owl. It is assumed that this owl eats small vertebrates like lizards and insects like similar species.
Habitat of Biak Island Scops Owl
It is limited to the coastal swamp forests of Biak Island. Its habitat ranges up to a thousand feet in elevation. The Biak Island Scops Owl may live in forests up on the limestone cliffs that make up much of Supiori Island, but those areas are hard to reach and thus their population density in that area is not known.
The Biak Island Scops Owl seems to avoid logged forests and forests that have been partially cleared to make way for subsistence agriculture.
Range of Biak Island Scops Owl
The Biak Island Scops Owl only lives on the two islands of Biak and Supiori in Geelvink Bay in Papua, the half of the Papua New Guinea island that belongs to Indonesia. The Biak Island Scops Owl is endangered because it has a small range that is under pressure due to deforestation to generate fuel for charcoal, wood for human usage and farming. This is why the bird is classified as endangered by the IUCN. It has been classified as vulnerable by other groups.
Its range includes Biak-Utara Reserve on the island of Biak.
Trivia about Biak Island Scops Owl
This is the only owl found on the islands where it resides. The Papuan Frogmouth owl is similar but has a longer tail and different habitat. The Large-tailed Nightjar lives on nearby islands but has a different habitat and longer tail as well.
The Biak Island Scops Owl and several similar species were lumped with Otus magicus until taxonomy separated them into separate species in the early 1990s.