Tuesday, November 29

Collared scops owl

   ›      ›   Collared scops owl - Otus lettia.

The collared scops owl (Otus lettia) is a small nocturnal bird, belongs to the family of typical owls, Strigidae. These owl species are distributed in Indian Subcontinent, China, Indochina region, Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia. There are five recognized subspecies of these owls.

Collared scops owl - Overview

  • Scientific name: Otus lettia
  • Species author: (Hodgson, 1836)
  • Synonyms: Scops lettia Hodgson, 1836
  • Family: Strigidae › Strigiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Common Name: Collared scops owl
  • Other languages: Chinese: 领角鸮, French: Petit-duc à collier, German: Halsband-Zwergohreule, Spanish: Autillo chino, Russian: Сова ошейниковая алая, Japanese: ヒガシオオコノハズク
  • Other names: Collared Scops-Owl
  • Distribution: Pakistan, India, Nepal, bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore
  • Diet and feeding habits: grasshoppers, crickets, moths, mantises, beetles, small rodents, small birds, lizards
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
Otus lettia is closely related to O. bakkamoena and O. lempiji. The five recognized subspecies of collared scops owl are: O. l. plumipes (A. O. Hume, 1870), O. l. lettia (Hodgson, 1836), O. l. erythrocampe (Swinhoe, 1874), O. l. glabripes (Swinhoe, 1870) and O. l. umbratilis (Swinhoe, 1870).


Appearance, physical description and identification

The collared scops owl (Otus lettia) is a small nocturnal bird measuring about 20 to 25 cm in length and weighing 100 to 170 grams. It occurs as rufous and grayish brown morphs. The facial disc is light gray or pale rufous. The ear tufts are small.

The upperparts of the collared scops owl are gray or brown with pale buff spotting. The eyes are orange or brown depending upon the type of morph. There is a buff neck band or collar. The underparts are pale gray or buff with scattered fine darker vertical streaking. Their call is a soft "goog gook" sound.
Indian birds - Collared scops owl - Otus lettia
Birds of India - Image of Collared scops owl - Otus lettia
Birds of India - Image of Collared scops owl - Otus lettia
Indian birds - Collared scops owl - Otus lettia

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These collared scops owl species are distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Singapore. The subspecies O. l. umbratilis is distributed in Hainan Island (China). The subspecies O. l. glabripes is distributed in Taiwan.

The collared scops owl subspecies O. l. plumipes is distributed in west Himalayan foothills extending from North Pakistan to Nepal. The subspecies O. l. lettia is distributed in Nepal, East India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The owl subspecies O. l. erythrocampe is distributed in Southeast China and Northwest Vietnam.

Ecosystem and habitat

These collared scops owl species inhabit humid evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, wooded hillsides, deciduous forests, dense groves, scrub jungles and degraded forests.

Diet and feeding habits

The diet of the collared scops owl is grasshoppers, crickets, moths, mantises, beetles, small rodents, small birds and lizards.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these collared scops owl species is from February to May in India. In Thailand, the breeding season is from January to April. They nest in tree hollows and lay 4-5 eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

These owl species are mostly non-migratory resident birds. Post breeding dispersal of juveniles takes place. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding. The collared scops owls, resident in higher altitudes, descent to lower levels during winter.

Conservation status and concerns

The global population size of the collared scops owl (Otus lettia) has not been quantified. The overall population size is considered to be stable. Their generation length is 3.7 years. These owl species have large range and population. The habitat loss due to deforestation and logging is threatening the survival of these species.

The collared scops owl does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the collared scops owl (Otus lettia) and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has listed these owls in Appendix II.


Taxonomy and scientific classification of Otus lettia
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Strigiformes
Family:Strigidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Otus
Species:O. lettia
Binomial name:Otus lettia
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
Popular posts In Birds of India

1.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kclama/18316823883/in/photostream/
Image author: Charles Lam | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 (as on 2016-11-29)
2.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134326206@N05/19294399251/
Image author: jack walf | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 (as on 2016-11-29)
Current topic in Birds of India: Collared scops owl - Otus lettia.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.