basic information

Eurasian Scops-Owl

Otus scops (Linnaeus, 1758)

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Ertai. Zhambyl oblast.
© Malik Nukusbekov


Breeds in Ural valley, on Mangyshlak, in Northern Kazakhstan, in mountains and adjoined plains of eastern, south-eastern and southern Kazakhstan. Please see the detailed distribution in Kazakhstan in section Subspecies.


Numerous breeding migrant. Inhabits the deciduous, mixed or pine forests, groves, steppe forest patches in plains; only the low belt of deciduous forests (apple-tree, apricot-tree, asp, elm) in mountains; the riparian forests in deserts; the gardens, old shelterbelts, villages and towns. In spring arrives in early April to May, migration finishes in early June. Breeds by separate pairs. Nests is located in tree holes, nest-boxes (often expels the owners), old nests of Magpie and other species at height 2-8 m above the ground; rare in holes in clay precipice or among the stones; and as an exception Scops-Owl on their own builds a nest from thin twigs (like Turtle Dove). Clutch of 3-6 eggs is laid in April to late June. Re-nesting after loss of clutch often occurs. Nuptial call of males in Almaty can be heard up to early July. Mostly female incubates clutch for 25 days from the laying of first egg, but male helps her. Both parents feed juveniles which fledge in July to end August. Autumn migration begins in early August. At Chokpak Pass most birds migrate in first ten days of September and first half of October, latest birds recorded in end of October.


Otus scops scops (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Description. General colour is darker, more brownish-grey, less grey than pulchellus; rusty shade is well expressed especially on the upper parts; the dark pattern on upper parts is less contrasts with background colour than in pulchellus; whitish streaks on nape and scapulars are less developed than pulchellus. Saturation of rusty shade on upper parts varies greatly from light to dark in different individuals.
    Distribution. Breeds on Ural valley. Probably the isolated nesting in Central Mugodzhary ridge and in Mangyshlak concerns to this subspecies.

Otus scops pulchellus (Pallas, 1771)

    Description. General colour lighter, more grey, less brownish than scops; rusty shade is lack or slightly expressed; the dark pattern on upper parts more contrasts with background colour; whitish streaks on nape and scapulars are more developed than scops. The individual variability in plumage coloration is less developed than scops.
    Distribution. Breeds at Naurzum Reserve, Northern Kazakhstan, Pavlodar Trans-Irtysh area, Kazakh Upland, Southwest Altai, Saur, Tarbagatay, Dzhungarskiy Alatau, Tien Shan, Karatau ridge and Semirechye. In summer observed in Monrak ridge. On rest territory of Kazakhstan occurs on migration.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Otus scops scops
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Otus scops pulchellus
(Pallas, 1771)
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unidentified birds


Александр Беляев: Можно по такому фото определить вид сокола? Вроде не чеглок. Если вид не определяем, удалите серию.


Аскар Исабеков: на последнем снимке - с орлом-карликом, видно и размер и бочкообразное туловище.


Анна Ясько: Николай, конечно же я обрабатывала снимок, но увы не могу оценить длину средних рулевых. Просто не разгляжу. К тому же ракурс не удачный для

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