African Scops Owl

The African Scops Owl is a common resident of Savannah woodland

South Africa BirdlifeThe African Scops Owl {Otus senegalensis}

The African Scops Owl is a common, sometimes abundant, resident of Savannah woodland.

African Scops Owl is a very small, fully nocturnal and mostly insectivorous owl. It is a bird of scrub and bush territory, and often uses ground nest sites for breeding. A well camouflaged owl species, the head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. It has a white coloured throat, brown legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

Quick Facts


Range mass: 45 to 100 g.
Range length: 16 to 19 cm.
Range wingspan: 117 to 144 mm.


The African scops owl's primary habitat is woodland and a wide range of mixed bushveld.


The African scops owl is a small owl endemic to sub-Saharan Africa.


Insects and spiders but they may take small birds and rodents.


Owl pairs may roost close to one another, or even in a loose colony.


Their call is a series of low, hollow dove like notes.


4-6 eggs are laid in tree cavity from April to June. It often uses ground nest sites for breeding. Incubation lasts for about 27 days. Young fledge at 30 days.


Incubation of the eggs takes 27 days.

Life Expectancy

30 years. (To be confirmed).


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